Risa Denenberg

Faith Healing at the MB Caschetta Writers Group Retreat

We scribble in desperation, words trickle or gush from cut
jugulars. We write to heal, but writing doesn’t cure, it congeals.
We drown and breach to retrieve our own sacred essence.

Alone, each treads the stations of a private cross. We fear everything
known, and then, the unknowable. Failure, rejection, success.
We don’t know what will be said about us, we fear gossip

derision, unkind reviews. We eat meals together, sisters
confessing our slightest sins, hoping to be forgiven.
We admit we have too often failed to forgive.

In the evenings, we share the words we have managed
to wring from tapped-out psyches during daylight. The
night welcomes us to rest, we lie on couches, drink tea.

On our last night, without a script, we enter a state
of grace and perform faith healings for one another.
We lay on hands, pray, offer blessings.

The road home looms ahead as daunting as the road
we took to get here. There is still much to dread.

Risa Denenberg is a working nurse practitioner and poet. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, a small independent publisher of poetry by lesbians.  She has published three chapbooks and two full length books of poems, most recently, Whirlwind @ Lesbos (Headmistress Press, 2016). Her collection A Slight Faith is forthcoming in 2018 from MoonPath Press.