Wesley Scott McMasters: “Bathtub Madonna Washes” 





Bathtub Madonna Washes

her face with holy water 
from the spigot  

blessed because her hands
lift the water to her face  

her hands which 
stirred soup for her son  

chicken and stars
(the stars taste better) 

hands which wiped down the table
to make room for coloring books 

hands which delivered soup two doors down
for a sister lost to breast cancer  

hands which have always looked
as though they belong to someone much older 

her hands which now begin to 
ache at the joints in the morning 

her hands which have a hard time
coming together in the mornings 

to pray for her son and her mother
to ask why she is so sad at night



About the Author: Wesley Scott McMasters writes, teaches, and lives in east Tennessee just within sight of the Great Smoky Mountains with his dog, Poet (who came with the name, he swears). 


Image Credit: Jack Delano “Field of beans on the farm of Gaetano Simone, Italian FSA (Farm Security Administration) client. Westville, Connecticut. Don’t know what the bathtub is for” (1940) Public Domain, The Library of Congress



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