This picture was at a YMCA camp on Orcas Island and I don't know the artist. And....I have dropped the "f" bomb again in this poem, forgive me if you find it offensive :)
The Ghost of Mother Teresa
I imagine her and Martin Luther King Jr.
taking shots in heaven,
you were such a playah
he pours her another round and
fires back, you should have let
women use birth control, you bitch.
She really hates how everyone
holds her up as the paradigm of
goodness and often including the “F” word,
What am I fucking Mother Teresa?
you mutter as a third panhandler
asks you for spare change.
I know nothing of her,
haven’t read a single biography,
only a Time magazine article
that focused on her journals
in which she admitted her desperation
having never felt the touch of Christ.
Perhaps she and I aren’t so different
doing good works for god gravy.
I could have wikipedia-ed the nun
but meditated instead
on a cushion she’d never indulge,
faux animal fur, polar bear white.
I felt myself lose fifty pounds,
breasts and thighs melted
until I was a piece of beef jerky
wrapped in a bed sheet.
I became the blue bowl of a candle flame,
the point where fire meets wick.
“It is easy to love people far away,
it is not always easy to love people close to us.”
Momma T. said, wisely.
Perhaps that is why she didn’t have
children or a lover.
Honestly anyone could do what she did,
wash wounds, spoon food into
gaping mouths, rinse, repeat.
“You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.”
This I know too well,
arriving today at my therapist’s office
with a headache from self-flagellation.
After listening to my riff about
judging myself for not always
feeling unconditional love
he ordered me to imagine
those I was angry at
and wring their necks,
handed me an orange pillow.
I pictured the particulars,
one swan long,
the other a little linebacker.
I went through the motions weakly
What are you embarrassed?
I hate nice people, my therapist said,
they are so pissed inside.
What do you want to be, a damn saint?
She does, the good Mother
it was easier than this.