Sister Louisa by Melanie Browne

spent her time
sprawled on the
floor of bookstores,
a goose quill pen
became her
secret companion.

I fear I love
the ink more
than I love
Jesus, she
whispered later,
as she sipped
coffee from a
chipped teacup
and nervously
tapped her fingers

in her sleep
her hands
became the

in the morning
she scrubbed
vigorously the
raven smudges
from her palms,

after awhile
she assumed
Jesus didn't mind
the ink,
he was too busy
with the emperors,
and the kings,
the dukes. the lords.

when the other
sisters began to
gossip sister
Louisa quoted
she stared ahead
at the flat earth,
the quill pen
folded in her bosom

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