The End of St. Barbara
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