Magdalene Mothers

by Jamie Smith

this is where
          the fallen women 
         sleep. concrete floor 
          for the too fair too
                 pregnant 
             too violated. be 
        fruitful but not with them 
        and not yet. in the image of 
       god, girls, says the priest
       with the wandering gaze to nuns
      who nod like sheep to the children 
      who were only half here anyway. who 
      deserved a womb despite questionable
     parentage. whose grave should resemble 
     a womb. a septic tank is wet. enclosed
     maternal. I wonder if the water is holy.