Portrait of Mabel

Written by: Maggie Huscroft

As dawn cracks the sky
and yellow light leaks through 
The neighbourhood oracle begins her day, 
sets out her stall on the corner near the station
"The end is coming"

The newspaper boy in his sister's scarf 
snatched in haste too early this morning,
just before dawn,
yawning he peddles past the prophetess.
Her long hair writhes,
arms paddle the air
like a swimmer, only grimmer, 
then, grinning at the boy on his bike.
"Ha you! Think you can fly!
Come to Jesus"

Over the Eastern roof tops 
the dawn light gleaming 
Mabel is born again, 
beaming her snaggle tooth smile 
"Joy today! The kingdom is come!
Repent!"

She has her reasons,

though parts of her story
her pain, her history, are a mystery
In all seasons, all weathers, every morning 
while the sun slowly clambers
into the sky, 
Mad Mabel, the local oracle
with twenty seven
assorted bags, eleven teeth,
and three bibles
is born again. 
And we are all doomed.