In My Father’s House, by Barbara B. Bonney

In My Father’s House, by Barbara B. Bonney


“Father, forgive me / for I am your daughter / not your son”

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Father, forgive me 
for I am your daughter 
not your son, not muscle, 
a vessel you will hand to another man, 
seldom called upon to pray or preach. 
I teach primary Sunday School. 
I glissando hymns on the piano. 
Forgive me for being Eve, Magdelene, Delilah.
Forgive me for letting my body curve 
until you stop wrestling me 
hugging me like a son. 
Your eyes avert. 
Forgive me for being Bathsheba, Jezebel, Salome. 

Forgive me for not hiding 
under girdles and long hems, 
for seeing through the Bible’s tissue pages, 
for daring to find pleasure 
flying beyond your pulpit.