“Mad Mary” by Mary Kate Crowe

“Mad Mary” by Mary Kate Crowe

Mad Mary

I’ve been told that I come from a long line of mad women named Mary

the first, Mary the Witch,
refused to drink the blood of Christ
and instead filled her body with the blood of hens
she dug her nails into the earth
as if she could revive the pagans buried in the dirt

the second, Mary the Zealot,
atoned for the sins of the woman before her
with rosaries and an iron brand
her fingers clasped,
her hands cracked,
her knees bloody
she was endlessly devoted
to cleansing herself of a stain
only she and her Lord could see

the third, Mary the Temptress,
spent her nights in the arms of strange men
a chameleon, she made herself into whoever it was they needed
yet for all her days, she could not find in them what she craved

the fourth, Mary the Silent,
never spoke one word
her quiet was an incantation
and her lips (full, like her mother’s) were never to part
in her were secrets both strange and wonderful

the fifth, Mary the Fury,
was a bright red lady
often shouting
at the women in her bloodline
at the men who tread upon her
at the children, like weights, bound to her ankles,
and at God himself

the sixth, I was told, is Mary the Gloomy
a strange girl, they say,
eyes always wet
and brows forever furrowed
a face like a rain cloud
I recognize in the puddles on the street


Mary Kate Crowe is a 17 year old poet and dog lover from the greater New York City area. Her work, which explores femininity, mental illness, and relationships, has been featured on RookieMag.com and in Fifteen13 literary magazine.

Category : Issue Three December 2016 Tags : ,

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