Mary, Did You Know? by Marissa Glover

Mary, Did You Know?

Yes, she knew,
as all moms know—
the instant letdown
of milk at his cry,
the look in brown eyes
that says he feels pain,
his smell after a long day
chiseling and stacking
stones, catching barbels
or musht.

She knew all
that other stuff too.
An angel told her,
Appeared to her,
said she’d soon be pregnant,
and Joseph was not
the father.
The prophets warned
what would happen next.

I’m more curious
about what Mary didn’t know,
what no mom knows,
what’s impossible
to know.
Like how quickly
his feet would be the size
of hammers, how soon
he’d choose his own path.

Or how much
it would hurt
to watch him
suffer, how hard
it would be
to feel the blood
urge for revenge
and take none.


Marissa Glover teaches and writes in Florida, where she serves as co-editor of Orange Blossom Review and a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. Her poetry has been published in Rattle, Rust + Moth, SWWIM Every Day, and other journals. Marissa’s first full-length poetry collection, Let Go of the Hands You Hold, was released by Mercer University Press in 2021 and her second collection, Box Office Gospel, will be published by Mercer in 2023.

How to Turn Someone in an Interrogation by Marissa Glover

How to Turn Someone in an Interrogation

Rule #1: Look for what
makes them human. Ask
about their mother parent.
Not everyone has
a mother. Find common
ground, shared experiences.
Tell them about your
childhood surgery—
stress how hard it was
to recover. Even if their
body has never been cut,
they can imagine.
Show them scars;
they’ll know it hurt.
Share enough details
to make it feel real;
invent the rest. After pain,
offer reprieve. Often,
this brief kindness is
all they need to trust.

Rule #2: Be patient.
It will take years time
to find exactly what
you’re looking for. After,
exploit the soft spot;
this is the torture
vulnerability everyone
wants to avoid. We can’t
see it, but we’re already
walking around with
numbers over our head,
a red digital countdown
marking the moments left,
like a shot clock telling
us to hurry. Like a timer
on a wired bomb
impossible for us to
disarm. We’re all just
one conversation away
from breaking.


Marissa Glover lives in Florida, where she teaches at Saint Leo University and serves as co-editor of Orange Blossom Review and a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. Marissa’s creative work was most recently published in Rattle and her poem “The World Asks Too Much of Mothers,” first featured in Whale Road Review, is a 2020 Best of the Net Finalist. Her full-length poetry collection, LET GO OF THE HANDS YOU HOLD, was released by Mercer University Press on April 1, 2021. You can follow Marissa on Twitter and Instagram at _MarissaGlover_.