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Salmon Poetry

The End of St. Barbara

Eithne Hand

Her father understood the three windows 
in her new bath house proved her conversion.

Patron saint of mathematics – pray for us.

He oversaw her torture but the fire snuffed out,
by morning all her wounds had healed.

Patron saint of extreme events – pray for us.

He beheaded her himself and she swore before dying
that to call her name in distress would bring relief.

Patron saint of the Italian Navy – pray for us.

Heading home in a thunderstorm, 
her father was consumed by flame.

Patron saint of lightning – pray for us.

In 1969 she was cut from the Litany;
her story judged to be entirely fabulous.

Patron saint of fireworks – grant us peace.


Copyright 2020 © Eithne Hand

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