“Devotional” by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Virgin of Guadalupe












I am one of those Russian/Polish girls

whose high cheekbones make men’s hearts beat faster,

make them weak in the knees.

Is it my fault I get nervous when I hear a mazurka,

feel guilty when I worship old icons, chant novenas to

faded photos of my oppressed ancestors,

the ones who fled to Chicago,

in search of religious freedom and better food

and never looked back?

They might condemn my crucifix-obsession,

my retablo of the Virgin of Guadalupe that lives at eye level,

directly across from my bed.

She’s small, five by eight, old & faded,

more Shroud of Turin than brightly painted Mexican

mujar. She gives me peace, helps me write,

dissolves the barriers of faith.

This morning the Virgin stares me down. Goads me to transgress.

Go ahead! Write those dirty books, she laughs. I dare you!

The ocean waves outside my window lull me into stupor.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace.

Let’s get lost in the mystery.

Those cheekbones!

Those cheekbones!

Ah! Those cheekbones!

Alexis Rhone Fancher

All Rights Reserved

© 2009


  1. Yousei Hime · November 25, 2009

    I love the irony in the piece, “She gives me peace, helps me write, dissolves the barriers of faith.” Thank you for it.

  2. Jaymie · November 26, 2009


  3. Constancia! · November 26, 2009

    I love this! I had forgotten that we were both fans of the blessed Virgin…Sainted Mother of the Americas! And of course we are of the same tribe!
    Thanks again for inspiring and sharing!

  4. Maxine Kardell · November 27, 2009

    Alexis exudes passion in her life and in her writing. She is a pro.
    She is disciplined. I can attest that she has high cheekbones and
    so much more…As to whether or not she is driven, that is something
    on which only she can comment. She enters late and leaves early !

  5. lkthayer · November 27, 2009

    Yes, she is driven…by her passion! –LK 🙂

  6. Linda Bishop · November 29, 2009

    Great imagery. It makes me think of how much is contained in a moment.

  7. Yolanda · November 30, 2009

    Makes their heart race with not only your seductive look but your way of words.

  8. Lynne · December 1, 2009

    As the kids say, “This is Sexy.” I can read this one a few times and still be impressed with another facet of the poem.

  9. Adesh Kaur · December 4, 2009

    Well Alexis, You for sure are the real deal. Must be those cheekbones of yours. I so love your work. I so love you. I shall spend some time pondering this. I so love your genius.

  10. Alice Wishni · December 9, 2009

    Alexis, you know how to captivat others with your looks and writting. Your an inspiration and a blessing. I love you! love Alice

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