The Virgin Martyr – a poem by Andrew Frisardi

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.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s