by Melody Newey Johnson

Because the chapel I inhabit
invites no female to the rostrum,

because (they say) my voice
was made for lullabies alone,

because this world proclaimed
another sex the Minister-Leader,

God weeps.

She wails on good days,
sends famine on the bad;

She rends the earth with
floods of blood

and water.

Because they do not hear
The Word, my one word (yes)

echoes through wood
and bones: Catacombs

where every woman saint
waits entombed in silence.


MELODY NEWEY JOHNSON’s award-winning poems have appeared in Irreantum, Segullah, Exponent II, Utah Voices 2012, Utah Sings, and elsewhere. She is a featured literary artist at Artists of Utah’s 15 Bytes. In addition to writing she enjoys gardening with her spouse and building sheet forts with grandchildren.


Photo: “Embraced by Grace” by Lawrence OP