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Pope Joan and the Cat
by Samantha Henderson

I do not like cats.

Perhaps that was my ruin, feline

Lucifer in her pique, taking me down.

Raising high the chalice at Mass, I saw

a slinky-brown creature slip, like melted butter,

between the feet of the faithful, smile at me, mocking.

Satan's pet her own self, claiming its unnatural own.

If the Pope is a woman, then the Devil is a woman,

then God is a woman: as below,

so above it cannot stand;

the angels turn away,


I don't like cats.


Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California with various humans and fauna. Her poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Lone Star Stories, Goblin Fruit, Star*Line and Ideomancer.


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"Pope Joan and the Cat" © 2007 Samantha Henderson. Used by permission of the author.
 Raven Electrick © 2000-2007 Karen A. Romanko.