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The light of afternoon slipped away.
The blood of his wounds blackened.
We had wept all our tears.
We waited for someone to cut him down.
The others, afraid, had gone.
We women remained until we could not.
Time folded into a burial cloth.
I thought I could smell the boats, the sea,
that I was a girl again at home
in my little fishing village,
but I was asleep, standing. They held me up.
We held each other’s hands
and walked away in the darkness.
Already we heard the growling
of the wild dogs.



Image: Orazio Gentileschi, Mary Magdalene, 1628



Kathleen Kirk’s poetry chapbooks include Spiritual Midwifery (Red Bird) and The Towns (Unicorn). Her poems appear in many journals, including Nimrod, Poetry East, and Spillway. She is poetry editor of Escape into Life.




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