Pale Woman, Lean Woman

    “Pale Woman, Lean Woman,” Ensign, Mar. 1980, 67

    Pale Woman, Lean Woman

    Third Place Eliza R. Snow Poetry Contest

    In the husk of bodies

    Hunched in the heat

    A pale woman, lean woman

    Falls by his feet.

    The Nazarene passes

    Day-weary, drawn,

    Flanked by a multitude,

    Sandaled and robed;

    Her hand reaches out,

    Blood-pumping thin,

    Pale woman, lean woman

    Touches his hem,

    Brushes his garment

    Skimming the stones,

    And his spirit quickens

    Her leadlike bones.

    Pale woman, lean woman,

    Her faith is her plea

    As he asks by the roadside

    “Who touched me?”