Womb: In Pantoum

It was the end of her life as Maren Van Daan,
the beginning of her life as Mrs. John Allen.
It was the end of sexual autonomy,
the beginning of a quiverful ministry.

The beginning of her life as Mrs. John Allen,
she birthed an unholy trinity.
The beginning of a quiverful ministry
became the death of Maren Allen.

She birthed an unholy trinity.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke
became the death of Maren Allen,
signaling the birth of the second Mrs. John Allen.


This “personal geography” poem was originally named, “Life, in Five Acts” (like a Shakespearean play).

The stanzas below were merely abstract introductions to much longer stanzas of a seven-page, narrative poem.

Spain: 1987
I lost half a sense,
which may have saved all the rest.

Saved: 1996
I lived with myself,
and knew not who I was.

Montana: 2003
I was Molly Mormon,
looking for Peter Priesthood.

Utah: 2004
I lost my faith,
but reclaimed my creativity.

Brian: 2013
And so a woman must leave her family
to create one of her own.

Hannah: 2013
I led her to milk,
but she would not drink.

College: 2014
I feared our future,
so I changed my present.