Damned

Lihannon, County Clare, Ireland

A response to a challenge presented  regarding Seamus Heaney’s LIMBO

He pushed through the curtain
before I left the confessional,
thrust himself inside me
and said it was just like loving Jesus.

And I felt the drip in my knickers
as I pulled my wool around my aching breasts
knowing they’d not believe
if I told them, never Father Mike.

Now I’m here on the edge
With his wee bairn, all pale and suckly
Like the milk he’d drain from me
Without e’er a bit o’ me in him.

All Father Mike and you, Jesus,
and if that’s being loved by You
I’ll suffer hell and give
the babe to the deep.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

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26 thoughts on “Damned

  1. Whoa, Gay! I have to mimic Mary here on the chilling. So glad you put this up. Needless to say, I think your a master of the voice of the other. As disturbing as it may be, brilliance spills from your pen. Again, so very glad you put this up for us! what a write!

  2. I know mine doesn’t compare to Seamus Heaney’s but it’s a follow up from the point of view of the mother. Imagine being a “good” teenage girl and having to hide a pregnancy for 9 months in an Irish village or being accused unjustly and knowing even your family wouldn’t believe the truth!

  3. Whoa. Bitterness palpable. (Sour milk.) Not meaning to joke, it’s very strong. I love that it’s so direct and spare. K.

  4. …and on top of that, who ever heard of proving it with a DNA test back then, and if you insisted on it today…all hell would break loose.

    great description, great imagery, chilling.

  5. damn..strong and sad gay…when one uses their position as such…or uses god to do evil…i know a man that recited the lords prayer as he raped his daughter…ugh…that is jacked up…emotive piece gay

  6. A strong voice here, Gay–you sound very much as if you were there watching the whole appalling thing, personifying it. Fine response to the prompt,and a stark, stark piece.

  7. I love how you responded to Heaney. It’s the best way to read a poem, respond to it with another poem. And you gave us a voice complete with Irish dialect. Picture perfect, although not pretty at all.

  8. Jumped from Tash’s story to this and I have to say I’m not feeling very positive about men of the cloth right now (then again, I’m not a religious person, so that’s not a rare thing)! It’s amazing how, with so few words, you paint such a vivid picture of darkness and sad thoughts. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

  9. chilled Gay with this all powered graphic write ~ my chest heaved ~ whip lashed straight to the jugular ~ anger spat out ~ and sadness ~ gross betrayal of trust placed ~ let down ~ all of this weaved ~ magnificently ~

  10. Bewilderment and anger. Well expressed and clear. The title is proper, although the narrator probably uses it to describe his own state of salvation due to lost of faith, instead suitably labels the guilty and although many will not agree, the religion, as it is dragged in by strong association.

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