Katherine Stingley

A Daughter Is A Pilgrim 

​I’ll have to ask to be named
Felicity or Charity
if I want to be
a Puritan girl—the girls
are always with the virtues
in that way. I’ll have
to be a Constance
or a Mercy. I’ll have to work
double. I’ll be a Thankful.
I’ll drive my hands
endlessly for a corn mash.
I’ll lay a thousand
tallows for our winter
candles. I’ll tuck my hair
into a bonnet and forget
its color. I’ll spin
the wheel throughout
the night.

I’ll keep my fevers
from my masters. I’ll spin
the corn mash.
I’ll drive my hands
endlessly into the candle.
I’ll make my wedding
linens and hide them
in a great leather box. I’ll tuck
myself into a great leather
bonnet. I’ll be a Chastity
until I’ll be a Goody. I’ll stitch my