The Virgin Martyr It wasn’t just that she refused to doff Her honor to a lie so she might live. What really pissed her persecutors off Was that her love did nothing positive For the economy. Why not do what Her father said? He wanted her to be A dowry not some flitting spirit’s slut. Instead, her lap and torso formed a C Around the unknown life that entered her When she was praying all alone one day Beside a lily. When she felt it stir, To get it out they burned the C away, But only saw a mote. Nobody knew It was the seed of charity that grew.
Andrew Frisardi is a Bostonian living in central Italy. His most recent books are Ancient Salt: Essays on Poets, Poetry, and the Modern World (Wipf & Stock) and The Harvest and the Lamp (Franciscan UP). His annotated translation of Dante’s Convivio was recently reissued in paperback by Cambridge UP.