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Not Nuns, a poem by Mary M. Brown

Not Nuns
by Mary M. Brown

The nones I know (not nuns
not nuns by a long shot)
but nones, the ones who say

none when asked, “Religious
like those other

nuns, have given up
some things, not men or sex
or children of their own, but

scripture and ritual, done
with all that nonsense,
or maybe those are things

they have never known.
None of the nones I know
are in the habit of meanness,
greed, sloth, cruelty or any
ungodliness. They are none
of those things we religious

folk might wish they were to
justify our own incessant
hunger for church, our failure to

know the holy in the daily,
to realize none of us knows
much of the uncanny divine,

no priest or rabbi, shaman or nun,
none of us able to understand
or unravel much more than the nones.

Mary M. Brown lives and writes in Anderson, Indiana. She taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan University for many years. Her poetry appears on the Poetry Foundation and American Life in Poetry websites, in Plough, Third Wednesday, Quiddity, JJournal, and many other journals and magazines.