Appeasing the Gods
by Margaret Galvin
Every November my mother freed souls
from Purgatory, murmured the litany
of Glorias, Paters, and Aves
to release her dead.
Spectral between the headstones,
she bent before the wind and rain,
her eyes whipped to tears.
Observing the ritual,
she circled the church,
interceded for her parents,
some mad uncle, an infant
found dead in a message bag.
The Angelus bell tolled her home to us,
to boiling cabbage and potatoes,
a pig’s head in a pot.
Copyright © 2007 by Margaret Galvin.