Two Poems

by Vern Fein

TO GABRIEL

Why didn’t Mary slap you
when you told her
she was conceiving a child by God?
Or scream at you or faint or curse…
when she heard archangel words?

That much faith.
Knew no body that bright could lie.
Knew of Messiah.
Someone had to birth Him,
no Suffering Woman Servant in Isaiah.

Instead obedience, acceptance,
even joy, fearless blessing, clapped her hands,
threw her arms around you, Gabriel,
danced with glee
before she pondered.

GAG REFLEX

We all have this protection,
a way of sloughing the ugly,
vile things of this world.

As a child,
the older boys knew.
It was easy to make me gag.
The mere mention of snot,
runny eggs, poop, boogers,
blood and guts, vomit,
became an instant horror movie
which I hate and will never watch,
while others seem to revel in being scared,
love to talk of the disgusting.

The bigger boys, the jocks
would hold my small self upside down,
string hockers from their lips,
make me gag and gag,
stalk my lunch table,
spit out gross things
until I gave them my lunch.

Once on a pier in New York City,
my grandsons found a poopy diaper
and threw it my way,
making me gag,
cruel fun they thought was funny.
Sometimes we laugh about it now.
Told never to bring it up at table,
they sometimes do.

It has never gone away for me
as the evil of the world.
war, injustice, the greed of the rich,
will make me hack forever.


A retired teacher, Vern Fein has published one hundred poems and short non-fiction pieces on over forty sites, a few being: *82 Review, The Literary Nest, Gyroscope Review, Former People Journal,  Courtship of Winds, 500 Miles, and The Write Launch, and has non-fiction pieces in Quail Bell and Adelaide among others.

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