Familial Scriptures, by Beth Davies

In my house, we are a family of
atheists with biblical names.
My father and brother are both faithless
gospels. My name, Bethany,
is the town of Lazarus, a place of miracles,

where things did not stay dead.
My mother hasn’t sat through a service
in years but can’t walk past a Catholic church
without entering. She doesn’t believe
in God, but her hands still do. I watch

as she crosses herself at the altar:
bowed head and quick flash
of hand, the way my grandpa taught her.
He treasured his faith like a rusted heirloom,
valuable because it belonged to his mother.

Even my grandma, who used to say
it was all nonsense, finds hymns easier
than speech now. I don’t know
what the sacred is, but I hear it
in her trembling voice.


— Published 30th of January 2020


About Beth Davies

Beth Davies is a poet from Sheffield, currently studying at Durham. She is the editor of The Gentian journal, a member of The Writing Squad and part of Durham University Slam Team. She has been published by The Kindling, Young Poets Network and PUSH, as well as in multiple anthologies