s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLC

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE


FOOL FOR POETRY
INTERNATIONAL CHAPBOOK
COMPETITION 2018


 

submit
Submit to Southword

 

 

ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon


 

 

Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

 

n


Chapbooks by Fool for Poetry
Competition Winners 2018

Not in Heaven by Molly Minturn
Bog Arabic by Bernadette McCarthy


 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

CYNTHIA HUGHES

 

 

 

Cynthia HughesCynthia Hughes is a poet, musician and educator from Vermont. Her poems and essays have been published in educational and literary journals or anthologies in the United States, Ireland, Canada and Australia. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, Fish Poetry Prize, and longlisted for the National Poetry Prize (UK). She is working on a first collection of poems.

 

 

 

 

In the Beauty Parlor of Saint Agnes

 

Candlelight smooths our blemishes

and our cheeks glow, imperfections

 

dropped like a dime in a votive jar.

We feel magnanimous and large

 

as the icons fencing the chancel,

a place girls can only wonder at,

 

sanctum of the inner circle – initiates

to the rites. They stand like sentries,

 

dim-sparkling the dark, wrapped

in the deep reds of womanhood,

 

Saint Ingnacious, Anna, Magdalana,

Saint Sophia and her daughters

Olga, Vita, Tatiana, Ekaterina,

Martyr Santa Matrona of Moscow.

 

A halo flickers around your beehive,

and the spit curls gracing your temples shine

 

with beneficence for the girls who make do

with pale blue statuettes of the Virgin

 

and rosary seeds hidden in the pockets

of their plaids or down their socks.

 

We have come here to ask if our lives

will be certain, having left the war

 

outside the thick wooden doors –

catcalls and jeers, misplaced hands

 

grabbing at our clothing. Agnes

cradles the lamb of God in her arms,

 

her lips locked tight, rouged cheekbones

low and earthy in the low light. She steps

 

from the altar, her robes unfolding the fabric

of the universe at our feet, stillness

 

empty of grief or joy. She lifts her hands

above us, anoints our heads, touches

 

our split mouths, consecrates our messes,

takes us one at a time behind the screen.

 

 

©2018 Cynthia Hughes

 

 

Author Links

 

Listen to "M1" from 2017 Global Poetry Anthology

Work upcoming in volume 23 of Crab Orchard Review

 

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15