Saint Ola & Hypothesis

by Tamara J. Madison


Saint Ola

for Mama


“Unfit for the pulpit”

with Bible leather strapping your throat,

grosgrain tying your tongue, you,

they force fed,

broke your jaws and legs,

pried open your lips,

crammed their gospels into your mouths



drowning in waters Holy,

you joined the pantheon

of mistress martyrs baptized, evangelized

though never a mass, hymn or scripture

memorializing your name.



Hypothesis:  Poet Questions King James


God bleeds

through rivers and trees,

feathers, furs, and scales, concrete,

shimmers among the least of crystals.  Perhaps

you kill

because you cannot find

your god

staring back in the mirror, or do

you kill

because you see God

when gazing at




Tamara J. Madison is a MFA graduate of New England College with creative and critical work published in various anthologies, journals, and magazines including Poetry International, Tidal Basin Review, Web Del Sol Review of Books, Black Magnolias, and Tea Party Magazine.  My poetry has been published in the anthologies, Temba Tupu (RedSea Press), Check the Rhyme (LitNoire Press) and SisterFire (HarperCollins).  She has also worked as a guest poetry editor for an online publication, aaduna. The above referenced poetry collection Threed, This Road Not Damascus, was short-listed under the title, Breast Poems, in the 2015 Willow Books Literature Award for poetry.  She is currently a professor of English and Creative Writing at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida.