Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
September 5, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

The Martha Within – Philip C. Kolin

She kept a very
Stubbornly vocal
Martha deep inside her
Always cleaning, polishing,
Never tarrying for

In her house
Nothing was permitted
Out of order. She insisted
On schedules for sleep,
Toothaches, heartaches,
And penances, lots of them.

She joined the choir
To starch everyone’s
Voice into conformity
With hers, of course.
Practice made her
Only more imperfect.

Her Martha rolled
Off just enough
Tin foil
To wrap a prayer
Without wasting
A single hallelujah
She vacuumed
Every stray amen.

Having to stand in
A line too long for Holy Communion
Last Sunday a.m.
She was prepared
To meet her maker upset.
But used the time
To straighten her pleated soul.

Back in her pew
God told her
He loved all those
Wrinkled and sin-stained
Banquets of self
Others gave Him,
And told her
To get cooking
On hers.


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