1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. The Blessed Mother Complains to the Lord Her God on the Abundance of Brokenness She Receives by Mary Karr
The Blessed Mother Complains to the Lord Her God on the Abundance of Brokenness She Receives

Related Poem Content Details

Today I heard a rich and hungry boy verbatim quote
all last night’s infomercials — an anorectic son
who bought with Daddy’s Amex black card
the Bowflex machine and Abdomenizer,
plus a steak knife that doth slice
the inner skin of   his starving arms.
Poor broken child of   Eve myself,
to me, the flightless fly,
the listing, blistered, scalded.
I am the rod to their lightning.
Mine is the earhole their stories pierce.
At my altar the blouse is torn open
and the buttons sailed across
the incensed air space of the nave,
that I may witness the mastectomy scars
crisscrossed like barbed wire, like bandoliers.
To me, the mother carries the ash contents
of   the long-ago incinerated girl.
She begs me for comfort since my own son
was worse tortured. Justice,
they wail for — mercy?
Each prostrate body I hold my arms out for
is a cross my son is nailed to.

Source: Poetry (December 2012)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

The Blessed Mother Complains to the Lord Her God on the Abundance of Brokenness She Receives

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information