My Mothers' Rosaries

Rosaries of night breath,

rosaries of woman smell,

rosaries of dream, spoon

rosaries blue, rosaries of yarn

knots greed rosaries, dandelion

rosaries, dough rosaries,

crystal Slovak rosaries,

baked potato rosaries, cock

hot rosaries, sunflower

yellow rosaries, phone line

rosaries, human hair

rosaries, butterfly blue

rosaries, snow rosaries,

dark cherry red burn rosaries,

say lead rosaries, flour

white first communion rosaries,

lemon rosaries, cold-cock punch

rosaries, confessional dark

water holy rosaries, sweet apple

red rosaries, concertina sweet rosaries,

before bed rosaries, wild

asparagus rosaries, smooth

wood beaded rosaries, see

all the way to heaven rosaries.

Keep me sighted rosaries,

don't let me be pregnant rosaries,

don't let anyone die rosaries

bring him here rosaries,

keep me sane rosaries,

keep him off me rosaries.

My mothers' rosaries fill

my mouth with dark prayer names:

My name is Susan the Baptist,

daughter of Ruth Lorraine Brophy

whose mother Katherine Boussart

came from Alsace-Lorraine

with an immigrant's trunk

full of women's lost names.