Touch: The Journal of Healing


Mercy Tin

    by Sherry O’Keefe

She stored her mercy

in an old bandage tin.

The hinged lid, with sliding clasp,

groaned each time it was needed.

There were patches for faith, rolled

gauze for trust and tubes of forgiveness



It hung by her kitchen stove

next to the match dispenser

below the ‘kwitcherbellyachin’ motto

Gramma-great burned into a left-over

slice of barn door.


She filled it with sunrise blush

and that center skip in hopscotch,

sprinkled in a somersault’s pause

and the tug from a six-pound trout line.


Whatever you take out, you put back in

was the rule she taught her children.

© 2009 Sherry O’Keefe

Sherry O’Keefe, a descendent of a Montana pioneer, mother of two, sister to four, cousin to dozens, credits her Irish upbringing for her story-telling ways and the healing touch from stories passed down through the generations.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barnwood Poetry Review, Avatar Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Two Review, and Soundzine and Main Street Rag,and Touch: The Journal of Healing.  Her chapbook, Making Good Use of August is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.