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Lord help us if we start to think we
are good that we don’t owe God
anything even before she sold her
fine clothes cut her gold hair only
ate every third day every day kissed
the feet of the poor she wore a hair
shirt to scrape her skin keep sin on her
mind later she’d tell us “our bodies are
not made of stone” so treat them like flesh
like perishable flesh as hers twisted and failed
as it had always failed her and the Lord.

Renee Emerson

Renee Emerson is a homeschooling mom of six, and the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014), Threshing Floor (Jacar Press, 2016), and Church Ladies (Fernwood Press, forthcoming 2022). Her poetry has been published in Cumberland River Review, The Windhover, and Poetry South. She adjunct teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University, and blogs about poetry, grief, and motherhood.