in their minds, whenever
this mother-of-mothers mantle
hangs heavy

upon my shoulders, so cross-like. I

shuck it, this Monday-morning blue
gown, as if a second skin

shedding it (in ecdyasy), and
wonder, ponder (as
in my heart

this once white-as-mother’s-
milk skin
that now looks, a little

round the lids, so for them
I’m layering on
the lamé (gold leaf, of
course) atop my crinkled crow’s feet,

slip into something slinky,
not purple, not royal, nor regal but
lipstick-, fingernail-, 5-alarm-
Fire-Engine RED

step into a pair of
crinoline stiletto heels,
3” tall, black and
shiny, as Judas’ patent leather

heart, and last and not the least
I trowel
the mascara on, deep and rich and

thick sky blue, cobalt
glow-in-the-dark, hell-on-earth
azure blaze
sprinkled with
a million sequins, a
constellation o’er each eye,

as when before it came to pass

on some Holy Night
I like, when on my back, eye-
ing (through the Midnight Clear)
each twinkle, pondering

calm, bright, silent, so Stellar
the Bethlehem night, at peace,
no longer then their

New Testament Barbie™ let be.

Carl Winderl, earned a Ph.D. from New York University in Creative Writing. The poem appearing here is from The Gospel According . . . to Mary, to be published later this year by Finishing Line Press. The Lost Parables of Jesus will now be published late next year by Finishing Line Press