Native American Virgin and Christ Child, Mission San Antonio de Pala, Pala, California
This is not the season to rejoice.
Shame and scorn draw near to touch—
perhaps to torch—
the edges of your life.
There is no one to shield you
from unseemly words,
words tarnished by layers of grime,
words that will not mesh together now
You steer an unsteady course;
seaweed tangles your rudder.
The sane thing to do?
Abandon this enterprise
of being an unwed mother!