Poem: terese v. gagnon

Poem: terese v. gagnon

What Mom Said the Night She was a Rebel & Sat Outside St. Mark’s and Washed her Own Damn Feet

Drink away your sorrows, she said
I don’t think I’ll ever become
A priest.

Not because I didn’t want to
Mind you (like running track)
No, not because of that.

All that time, the slant of light on red carpet
The beauty of the crabapple trees
Was too much.

Like I said,
It’s not that I don’t want to join you
-Trouble is

I do.
But you need to learn
To wash your own God, damn feet.

(And alone to the hot bleary stars she said
she wasn’t even a tiny bit sorry.)


At the door, at the edge of the light
In my goose bumps and white short sleeves
I waited

Afraid of her power, of my own.
Her back turned, facing outward

Mama, are you Ok? Mama?


about the writer: terese gagnon

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Terese Gagnon is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Syracuse University. She often combines her work in cultural anthropology with her love of verse through ethnographic poetry.

Instagram: @teresegagnon

Short story: meg truesdell

Short story: meg truesdell