Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Communion

and if hell exists

 

    hail mary, full of grace

then surely they have lived it

 

and

    hail mary, mother of god    

there is a special place

inside the vatican

for men like pell

 

whose shadows fall over communion

goblets whose crisp white collars bleach

bed-wet horrors whose

swishing bishop robes

            conceal

 

the sunday darkness

 

of which they

    (children, shiny-shoed

    and trembling)

 

dared not

dare not

    speak

 

        but now they have

 

 

and

    hail mary, mother of mercy

give them strength

    hail mary, bring them peace

and oh

    hail mary, mirror of justice    

            we believe them

 

we believe

Maxine Beneba Clarke
is The Saturday Paper’s poet laureate, and the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.