Guest Post: A Prayer for Pennsylvania/Marissa Glover

Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be the nameless & unnamed
Give us this day our daily news—
decades of abusers now accused
Deliver us from evil

I do not forgive priests who hurt little children

No matter how much they confess
or kneel or swish with holy water
No matter how many catechisms
or pilgrimages or prayers to the Virgin

I do not forgive pedophiles
or those who look the other way

They can drink the communion cup
until their bladder fills, explodes the prostate—
stuff their mouth with wafers, white as chastity

They can choke on this spotless body
rendered for them, offered for healing
of sickness and removal of sins

May they aspirate halfway through
their Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned
both the confessor and the falsely penitent

Then let them burn
Let them burn

Amen.

This poem was first published at Poetry 24 in August 2018.


Marissa Glover is a teacher and writer who shares her thoughts more than necessary, which she considers a form of charitable giving. If it counted as a tax deduction, she’d be rich. Her poetry has been published at Easy StreetThe OpiateLipstick Party MagazineUnbroken Journal, and Muddy River Poetry Review, among others. Follow her on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.