The Sisters of Mercy

Ceinwen Haydon

the pressure of fingers is theirs
their warmth blankets the wasted
protects the undone from pharisees
they live in each leaf that turns in autumn
each kiss on the sick
and they turn tender tricks in
brothels and backwaters
they embrace
the decayed the abandoned
the lonely whose smouldering
taints the breeze with
ashes of sulphur.

Ceinwen Haydon

Ceinwen was formerly a probation officer and mental health social worker. Her stories have been published on Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, StepAway and Alliterati. Her poems have appeared in Poems to Survive In, Writers Against Prejudice, New Boots and Pantisocracies and I am not a silent poet.

She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. In autumn 2016 she was selected to take part in the 'Making Art Happen' programme run by Helix Arts and Gateshead Council. She hopes to work on Creative Writing projects with under-represented groups, after graduation. She believes everyone's voice counts.

Ceinwen wrote Sisters of Mercy shortly before Leonard Cohen's death. As a young woman, she was beguiled by his songs with their imagery, metaphors and secrecy and she continues to return to them.

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The Sisters of Mercy © 2017 by Ceinwen Haydon: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.