Joy Wilson Parrish – Three Poems


joyJoy Wilson Parrish is a native of the United States. Her essays, articles and poems have appeared in journals such as Rebelle Society, The Tattooed Buddha, and Coffee and Sweatpants. Her first book of poetry, Sojourn, was published by Wildfire Publications in March 2016. She currently resides in Southwest Michigan where she is also employed in the medical field.


Mother Theresa is well on her way,
trading broken sandals for pink Nike high tops and twisted feet for that matching
Barbie Maserati,
the fairy godmothers having infiltrated the Vatican.
Mother Theresa has made the trades,
the poor of Calcutta for the poor of Calabasas, her habit for the Hamptons.
She is speeding her way to Kanye’s house- his extreme poverty unmet by the Zuckerberg dream,
the Wifeapp exposed with no clothes for cover, emergent need tweeted.
Mother adjusts her Trump made tiara, sainthood granted in time for Easter appearances.
Three miraculous tricks performed for the patriarchy, may she now be worthy and without lack.
Brussels bleeds but Kanye is impatient.
That this is beautiful is only one of the lies, hidden like Easter eggs among occasional truths.


I am a heretic with a fondness for religious rhetoric
using their dogma as finger paint, to create contradiction.
They say I am a rogue bonsai tree growing between the concertina wire
sculpting freedom from captivity, using their edges to prune my own stunted beauty.
They say I am a grimy window shuttered tight against their civic storms,
or a defiant participle dangling within their opus of political existence, oppositional,
defying regulation, calm in my resistance.
They say I am a distant cousin to extreme,
brazen within my simplicity and I say
I am all of these things.
I am not their supplicant.
I am not well pruned.
I am not yielding, barely contained.
I am
the old guard of the new Revolution.


Wrapped in frayed remnants of the star spangled banner I was led into captivity at the hand of my father,
decorated hero of WW2 and the Korean conflict his silver star and purple heart well earned
on the waters of Pearl Harbor,
his birthday heralded by explosions, gunfire, and foreign planes close enough to touch.
Weaned on war , hand fed a steady diet of stars and stripes by a spoon fashioned from the hipbone of an unknown Japanese soldier, I grew fat
racism and hatred the side bread to a heaping bowl of America right or wrong
I was a casualty of a war waged before I was even born.

The day I crossed his threshold with that boy with slanted eyes was the day he lost the war
my betrayal the cancer that ate at his flesh.
They remind me often that he died of grief.
The purple heart lays on my table wrapped in its velvet cocoon
a reminder of the price of freedom.



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2 Responses to Joy Wilson Parrish – Three Poems

  1. Congrats to Joy Wilson Parrish. This is one of my favorite modern day writers. I wish her all the success in the world.

  2. smzang says:

    I love, absolutely love, “They Say” applause, applause!

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