The Rest, by Sarah Carleton
Badass nun digging a grave,
arms strong enough to slug harassers.
God, make me like that half-habit-clad babe
who pulls soil at dawn after breaking the surface
with a pickaxe, her hair in a rag.
Tough as nutshells, flushed and pretty, her face
lit by the sun, she leans
down and delves in—unlike her cucumber-cool
supervisor who keeps wimple clean
and counts beads while posing on a fallen marker.
My girl draws back with a shovel full of dirt
—brawny dancer, ready to fling it farther--
Oops, I missed, she says (no apology)
then scoops out and tosses another brown pile.
Sister Tidy shakes out her skirt, dislodging
beetles, compost and gravelly bits,
and directs a fed-up look at Millais,
mouthing, No rest for the immaculate.
Sarah Carleton writes, edits, plays the banjo and raises her son in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in Houseboat, Burning Word Literary Journal, Avatar Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Bijou Poetry Review, Off the Coast, Shark Reef, Wild Violet Magazine, The Binnacle, The Homestead Review, Cider Press Review and Nimrod. She also has work upcoming in Silver Birch and Chattahoochee Review.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
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