Two Kinds of God
Thursday, 11 August 2022 14:47

Two Kinds of God

Published in Poetry

Two Kinds of God

by Fred Voss, with image by Martin Gollan

5 people in robes
have done the work of God
no lightning bolts
no earthquakes
no Moses parting the Red Sea
no Jesus rising from the grave
just 5 votes
by people who brush their teeth
and wipe their ass
and have opinions
5 people in robes
who have sweat glands and hair follicles and sex organs and toenails
have delivered the word of God
to Lupita
working on a factory grinding wheel
with her head in a cloud of steel dust
her fingers wrapped in green surgical tape so the stone wheel won’t tear apart
her skin
a 19-year-old employee working 70 hours a week to put the roof of a tiny apartment
over her head
barely hanging on
week to week
paycheck to paycheck
and the word is:
THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ABORTIONS
and Lupita puts a steel part in her fingers to the grinding wheel
perhaps she prays to her God that she will not become pregnant
her God
a God of compassion
and perhaps she prays she will not have a child she can’t afford
and can’t give a decent life to
for sure she prays to a God her mother prayed to when Lupita had to leave El Salvador
and come to America on top of a boxcar
and work to send money home to her mother
a God
who stands for the sanctity of life
not only for the unborn
but for all of us who walk this earth
working our hearts out
for the ones
we love.

Apocryphal Idols
Thursday, 11 August 2022 14:47

Apocryphal Idols

Published in Poetry

Apocryphal Idols

by Cheryl Vail, with image above by Martin Gollan

Liberty’s a goddess
yet how can she embody her name
when she isn’t permitted to be    as she is
when her own choices are sand through a    sieve held
in someone else’s hands

she isn’t an automaton    that prefix doesn’t work
she’s more marionette    bound by politicians’ strings
or paper doll    her dimensions compressed

libertas the origins of    means ‘belonging to the people’
         and this in turn means ‘free’
but what is freedom at the cost of her body
but what is freedom at the exhaustion of her will

how can she be free    when she belongs to ‘the people’
when she doesn’t belong to herself?