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Kate Healey

Luke #1

a sinuous question mark flickers.

In the distance, Heaven blooms.

the belfry signals noon,

calling all of the faithlessly departed to alms.


meanwhile, television commercials 

further remind you of your failures,

and send your prayerless hands into motion,



the furnace clangs​; a war drum.

the din of tension mounts in syncopation,

with the ever shriller beckoning of the telephone.


pupils become fists!, as you answer the phone.

"If you call here again, I'll fuckin' stab you!"


You retire to the chair.


Again, among a tea kettle banshee,

the telephone trumpet resounds

the police sirens join the cacophony soon after.

Caitriona: #1

"I won't look, but its a magpie....

                One is bad luck.'


This was not the omen I wanted my sister to share

on the first day of our meeting when I inquired about a bird,

as her car slid forward, her eyes both alight and fixed.


A few hours before, upon our meeting,

she entered the house, and said:

‘Hello,’ ...

before promptly turning to her mother

and inquiring about postage requirements

for a particular form she needed to mail.


seemingly insouciant,

but it all felt deliberate.

I could not discern if her manner of engaging me

was tactful or tactless.


knowingly disregarding the elephant in the room:

me; her newly discovered sister.

formerly a continent away and now sipping tea,

in a kitchen she had never envisioned me in.

yet there I sat, comparing photos of us as babies,

transatlantic Gemini, the strangest of strangers.


was this an act of hospitality? hostility? humility?


the lack of action warranting a reaction,

is a trick you learned from Our Father,

whose absence was a perpetual  presence.

the negative symptoms of a schizophrenic

can be equally alarming,

but you know nothing of that kind,

of my kind,

of my kin,

and yet you wear my face.


one magpie is bad luck,

you told me as your car slid past,

but you are a single magpie, and you are a blessing.

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