Occasions of Sin


Muslim women, shapeless and darkly muffled,
sometimes scream out their anger and fear,
from mouths they savagely clamp open.
Then they return helpless and wordless,
to the swaddling – except for their eyes.
            And nobody reads eyes.
Western women, shapeless and brightly painted
sometimes turn their anger and fear inwards,
slicing and starving the tortured flesh.
Then smiling, they hide in the strutting
Of their naked bodies and rattling bones.

          And nobody reads bones.


Margaret Gallagher works in private practice, group work/facilitation and training in Limerick.