It’s always been the same; men and old women
instructing young girls how to live,
running in fear of oestrogen
budding and flourishing beyond their law.
Outside that door, that whole sad choir of them
chant in praise of the perfect mother,
gripping rosaries like ligatures;
blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
It’s mortal sin, if you believe in souls,
not cells and blastocysts; ‘products
of conception’ . An hour’s mistake must last
a lifetime, no repentance can
absolve a girl of motherhood, I try
to talk to them. One hisses back;
Can’t you see we’re praying? So I sit down
inside the cafe, and Google this;
And when you pray, don’t be like hypocrites
who love to pray on the corners of streets
to be seen by others. Truly I say to you,
they already have their reward in full.
I write it down, and ripping out the page
from my notebook, hand it over.
I walk past later, glad to see they’ve gone;
just a happy coincidence