Issue No. 9, Summer 2014

Delilah Scorned
Elizabeth Johnston

He calls to say he gave me up for lent—
but being as I am, no believer
and not inclined to sacrifice,
I defy his God.

This makes him unhappy.

Now we’re fighting—
he with me,
me with his Church.
I intend to convert him
to the nihilism of my love.
He intends to sentence me to Lifetime movies.
We shall see whose spirit is stronger—
a throwing of staffs,
a measuring of snakes.

I am not afraid.
I know what forty days in the desert can do to a man,

thirst, like a trumpet, crumbling Jericho’s walls.
He’ll come and I’ll be waiting

in the shade of my tent,
goblet in one hand,

scissors in the other


Elizabeth Johnston’s poetry has appeared in Organs of Vision and Sense, The Muse: an International Journal of Poetry, Yellow Medicine Review, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, The Journal of South Texas English Studies, The Mom Egg Review, New Verse News, as well as in two book anthologies, B, and Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poems on the Abuse and Oppression of Women. She is a founding member of the Rochester-based writer’s group, Straw Mat. She teaches writing and gender studies at Monroe Community College and, in her spare time, teaches writing as therapy for cancer survivors at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.