by Sheila Wellehan

It’s disappearing
look fast while I still have it
while I still have the mark of God on me

right here in the middle of my left palm
I have a wound that looks
like it was made by a nail.

I slipped on muddy rocks
and cut my hand while wandering
blood gushed

it was two hours before the dirt came out
I pulled oars hard rowing home on the river
it would take forever for the gash to scab.

Three days later, despite my neglect and carelessness
despite never giving it proper protection or rest
my hand is healing

I lost the palm of Jesus
my stigmata’s fading
soon it will be completely gone.

God must have realized
he made a mistake with my stigmata
that he marked the wrong person with a holy holey hand

he steals it back every night while I’m sleeping
it’s going to a good Christian
who deserves not to heal.

SHEILA WELLEHAN’s poetry is featured in Chiron Review, The Fourth River, Off the Coast, Poetry East, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit her online at

Photo: “Milkweed” by Dennis Behm

5 thoughts on “Stigmata”

  1. This is a beautifully crafted poem. You also convey the sense of unworthiness with delicate humour – understated, recognisable and effective. I’m full of admiration

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