I was raised in hand-me-downs.
But your sackcloth doesn’t fit.
The hair shirt – it’s flea-bitten
and I have sensitive skin.

Ash to evidence your penitence.
Why won’t you wash your face?
Don’t smudge it off against me.
Even if you swear it’s vintage dirt.

I was raised in hand-me-downs.
Make do and mend – don’t waste.
But I don’t crave this second place.
And I cannot sew your holes.

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23 responses to “Raised

  1. Powerful writing. Very good

  2. I can’t think why you wouldn’t want a pre-loved hair shirt!

  3. Every verse has double (even triple) meaning – like it very much.

  4. Ah yes, hand-me-downs, part of the territory for all those that aren’t 1st born. Nice writing Holly.

  5. This touches the ‘once I was a Catholic’ me. It could mean so much to each person. Terrific poem Holly.

  6. I love the idea of “vintage dirt,” Holly! :) Great poem!

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