Fire & Brimstone


My parents once thought

or did they, think about it

I mean

or did they simply do what

their parents had done


They sent us, my two sisters

and me

to a Catholic elementary school

peopled with nuns


The nuns, all of them

no exceptions

were meaner than that

junkyard dog


Years later I learned

of the Magdalene Asylums

run by Catholic nuns

in Ireland


For the first time I

considered myself fortunate

to have escaped such a



My nuns weren’t so bad

in comparison


I watched a documentary on

Sister Wendy

a British nun who made great art



She was a nun every nun

should emulate

she believes in the kindness

of god


Not fire and brimstone


I have to believe in god

I was raised Catholic

in the way of ridicule

and guilt


If I don’t believe in God

I’ll burn in hell

for the sin of

not believing


On a documentary a man prays

for strength

to torture another man

for information


A woman attends church

every Sunday

on Monday she spreads

untrue rumors

another woman

loses her job


God Bless America

but not all America

only those who

can feed themselves


Food stamps take money

from the bottom

line of Form 1040


Our children will follow

our lead

as our parents followed their own


Thanks for reading!

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