Examination of Conscience

catholic poetry room


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Sally Thomas.                                                                                                                                

Examination of Conscience

Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, I’ve done that, too.
In fact, if we review the Deadly Sins,
We see my name on them, their name on me:
Wrath, Greed, Pride, Sloth, Lust, and Gluttony.
And Envy. I wish now that I were you,
Strange to myself. Each examen begins
With yes, as if I’d come to claim my own
Cold body on its slab. Yes, yes, I know me.
That pink wrinkle of a scar on my right knee
Gives me away, an error on my skin’s
Clean record, one lie I told when I was nine.
Just skinned, that’s all. These Band-aids? Nothing . . . Only
The mouth beneath them told the truer story.
I peeled them off me, one by painful one.


Sally Thomas is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Fallen Water (2015) and Richeldis of Walsingham (2016), both from Finishing Line Press. Her latest book, Motherland, was a finalist for the 2018 Able Muse Book Award, and is forthcoming from Able Muse Press in 2019.

Examination of Conscience first appeared at Patheos.


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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page or Tim's Website at www,GrayRising.com.


Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. He is currently finishing his second book of poetry, Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim.

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