Peter Johnson

A Nun to be Named
June 25, 2019 Johnson Peter

A Nun to Be Named Later

I’ve been thinking about the nun who wouldn’t let me pee in fifth grade.
There is no need to know her name.
She is dead and most of her clumsy cruelties have died with her.
But tell me: Who can you trust?
I trust the geese who are too stupid to migrate this winter.
I double-park to say hello.
I want to explain that I’m on a quest for authenticity.
They’re stumbling about, cold but apparently very happy.
They are like the lilies of the field, and so on and so forth.
I go back to the car and listen to a Miles Davis CD.
Supposedly, Miles stopped playing when he could no longer hear the music.
Was he telling the truth?
The truth is her name was Sister Josepha.
It makes no sense to hold a grudge.

Peter Johnson has published seven books of prose poems, six novels, two collections of short stories, a book of essays on the prose poem, and three anthologies of prose poetry. His poetry and fiction have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rhode Island Council on the Arts, and his second book of prose poems was awarded the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. His most recent book is While the Undertaker Sleeps: Collected and New Prose Poems. More information can be found at and on his Substack site at