Umbrella
A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose


Ruth E. Foley

lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English at Wheaton College.

Her most recent poetry credits include Measure, River Styx, and The Ghazal Page, and her poems have been included in the anthologies Letters to the World and Sinatra: But Buddy...I’m a Kind of Poem.

She serves as the Associate Poetry Editor for Cider Press Review.


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The Greatest Sin is to be Unconscious

Carl Jung

Then let me sin, let me sink into sand dampened
with the wash of sleep, let it cover me, enclose me,
become me. Let my breath be deep
and long, let it fill me with dreams, let it lead me
through uncharted channels. Let my skin
warm, let my muscles ease, let me give myself
to carelessness. Let me drift, let me come
to nothing for a while. Let nothing come to me, let
a hush move with the seeping certainty of water, let me
erode into demolished, disintegrating abandon.
Let my eyelids drop and let them not
be lifted. Let my shoulders burden themselves with
sin, let them drift down to the bottom of the sea,
let them anchor me to the reef. Let my arms become
separate creatures, let my legs dislocate
with release, tendons loose, ligaments undone,
knees and hips unjointed. Let my bones
return to sand and stone, let my blood be
salted water, let me float, unrepentant,
near the blue on blue horizon.