Verses for Mother Ann Lee


Possessed by departed saints

Convulsing in celibacy

Speaking and freaking for the Lord,

Like a cherub covering His throne

All that great furniture

Assembled in forced community

That holy Do-Si-Do

Prophetic tongues, groanings . . .

I doubt you, Mother Ann.

I doubt your revelation.

All you left are scattered souls,

Fading bonnets, empty meeting-halls,

Old innovations

In the stillness of Sabbathday.

Simple and rustic empty chairs

Awaiting the next

False prophet.


Found this [Dover Publications, 1963: Andrews, Edward and Faith]
among my deceased great aunt’s boxed belongings,
out in the barn,
not too far from Sabbathday lake . . .
My poem is a response to what I read therein.



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