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Mary Reads into the Lives of the Saints

                                    Camille Dungy

She’s all the way into December and the saints disappoint.
So much hesitation: Pious punks waiting for the wind
to blow open their doors. And subterfuge, which Mary understands
is lying. She doubts they said excuse me, thank you. She doubts
they washed their dishes, imagines bread crumbs
stuffing hoards of mice because the saints ran off to harvest
souls. Mary can’t make up her mind what to do,
and the saints aren’t helping. Do the wrong thing (she thinks
of Venustian claiming both Sabinus’ hands), they’ll still prevail
(Sabinus used his stumps to cure Venustian’s blindness—one more notch
in his miraculous belt). Mary has a word for opportunists.
Despite everything she has been told about not feeding wildlife,
the saints are praised for throwing tasty nuggets to fish and birds
and lions. Say their friends were jumping off a bridge, the saints
might jump too. Mary knew they did what they wanted to do.

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