The Wise and Foolish Virgins – a poem by Donna Pucciani

The Wise and Foolish Virgins


Grab a lamp. Off we go.
Here’s our secret:

We are all wise.
We go not to meet the bridegroom

but to avoid him altogether,
for a woman needs a man

like a fish needs a camel. 
We will talk among ourselves 

about the taste of wine, 
sharing the bottle, 

the price of oil, 
and the lamp that helps us see ahead

in the moonless dark.
We gather on the edge of the city

where we will not be followed
 by clownish men orating

scripture and sin. One day
we will outnumber them. 

Our laughter perfumes the desert,
and the dust from our sandals

will choke all predators
as we return to our rooms

and scribble our verses 
well past midnight.

Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, ParisLitUp, Meniscus, Agenda, Gradiva and other journals. Her most recent book of poetry is Edges.

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