Snow White and Seven Deadly Sins, a poem by R. S. Gwynn


Good Catholic girl, she didn’t mind the cleaning.
All of her household chores, at first, were small
And hardly labors one could find demeaning.
One’s duty was one’s refuge, after all.

And if she had her doubts at certain moments
And once confessed them to the Father, she
Was instantly referred to text in Romans
And Peter’s First Epistle, chapter III.
Years passed. More sinful everyday, the Seven
Breakfasted, grabbed there pitchforks, donned their horns,
And sped to contravene the hopes of heaven,
Sowing the neighbors’ lawns with tares and thorns.
She set to work. Pride‘s wall of looking glasses
Ogled dimly, smeared with prnts of lips;
Lust‘s magazines lay strewn, bare tits and asses
Weighted by his “devices”–chains, cuffs, whips.
Gluttony‘s empties covered half the table,
Mingling with Avarice‘s cards and chips,
And she’d been told to sew a Bill Blass label
Inside the blazer Envy‘d bought at Gyp’s.
She knelt to the cold master bathroom floor as
If a petitioner before the Pope,
Retreiving several pairs of Sloth‘s soiled drawers,
A sweat-sock and a cake of hairy soap.
Then, as she wiped the Windex from the mirror
She noticed, and the vision made her cry,
How much she’d greyed and paled, and how much cleaner
Festered the bruise of Wrath beneath her eye.
“No poisoned apple needed for this Princess,”
She murmured, making X’s with her thumb.
A car door slammed, bringing her to her senses;
Ho-hum. Ho-hum. It’s home from work we come.
And she was out the window in a second
In time to see a Handsome Prince, of course,
Who, spying her distressed condition, beckoned
For her to mount (What else?) his snow-white horse.
Impeccably he spoke. His smile was glowing.
So debonair! So charming! And so Male.
She took a step, reversed and without slowing
Beat it to St. Anne’s where she took the veil.

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