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Trust Women

A poem by Kathryn Lester-Bacon.

Rev. Amantha Barbee preaching at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. Photo credit: Matheus Barbee.

(after Mark 5:25-34)

She has endured much under many physicians.
Now she holds healing. She knows it because
she feels it. Her body will bear the blood, the sieve,
and the suture. No matter what anyone says.
She has been told by so many for so long what to do and
when to do it and how often and to what end. Now she is the one
who will inform her Healer about his work. When he calls out
with a question, she chooses to return, bringing her self,
the answer. She steps into sight. It wasn’t just Jesus,
standing there, staring. The shock?
She didn’t even need to be noticed. Out of that whole crowd,
the Spirit communed with her, name withheld and hidden.
This is yours. Now.
Take it.
So transformed, she remained unseen.

Cassandra sang hymns at the corner of 2nd and Main.
In a yellow coat, she perched on a concrete wall, tapping
rhythms against her roller bag with her walking stick.
She made the overlooking office buildings into her own
amphitheater. “What makes you sing?” I asked one day.
“Because I woke up this morning and it is a miracle!
The Lord has done marvelous things!” she called back.
A few weeks later, she disappeared and I never asked
where she went. I missed her voice, its bright-cloaked flight
echoing off the glass-paned stories; but I too find it so easy
for a woman to slide out of sight.
to say a few good words,
before getting shuffled off the stage, asked to please
move along, please slip away with this
body and mashed-up suitcase,
with all your many miracles.

We still refer to her as the hemorrhaging woman, rather than
the healed one. Yet, she knows what has happened to her.
She knows.
She knows. She knows. She knows. She knows.