There are no patron saints against accidents by Rita Mae Reese

There are patron saints for archives and Arkansas and advertisers.
Against dying alone.

For backward children, boxers and boys’ choirs.
For birds and breastfeeding.

For cancer patients, pastry chefs and good confessions.
For country girls and criminals.
Against cold.

For dancers, the recently dead and dentists.
Against sudden death.

For engineers, exiles and evil spirits.
Against eating disorders and enemy plots.
Against earaches and earthquakes.

For fathers and fugitives and forgotten causes and Florida.
Against frenzy.

For gas station workers and guards and the Greek Air Force.
Against gout.

For hostages, hangovers and hardware stores.
Against sick horses and hair loss. Against hesitation.

For inquisitors, ice skating and the cooks of Italy.
Against invaders, bacterial infections and infertility.

For jailers and jurors and Jackson, Mississippi.

For kings, Kentucky and Kalamazoo.
Against losing keys.

Against lightning.
For librarians and lawyers.

For mechanics and musicians and mail.
Against mice and mad dogs.

Against fear of night.
For New Orleans and news dealers.

For obsessions and old maids and Ohio.
Against oversleeping.

For parents of large families and plumbers and pawnbrokers.
Against poverty.

For queens and quartermasters.

Against riots and rats.
For rain and against rain.

For silence.

For bomb technicians and medical technicians and television writers.
For reformed thieves and test takers.
Against twitching.

For ugly people and uncontrolled gambling.

For victims of apoplexy, abuse, betrayal, child abuse, drowning,
incest, jealousy, kidnapping, rape, spouse abuse, stroke, torture, and
Against vertigo.

For working people and West Virginia.
Against bad weather.

For expectant mothers, expeditious solutions, and excluded people.
Against explosions.

For New York and young people in general.

Then there is Saint Zoe of Pamphylia, a slave who cared for the dogs
guarding her master’s gate and kept them from biting visitors.
She is the patron saint of nothing. There is no one at the gate.

poem by Rita Mae Reese

published by Anti-


"Patron Saint of Television," by Antonio Roybal, 2007

%d bloggers like this: