Poem: Little Boy Nun

Catalina de Erauso, portrait attributed to Juan van der Hamen

Catalina de Erauso, portrait attributed to Juan van der Hamen

Little boy nun
Escaped the convent
In search of fun.
Broke her promise
To God and
Saint Thomas.
Sewed up her skirt
To be a
Boy convert.
Chopped her hair,
her head was
Almost bare.
Only fifteen
And slept
In a ravine.
Joined the
army and liked
to party.
Fought in taverns
And hid
In caverns.
Once a holy prisoner,
Now, she was
An avid sinner.
Made lieutenant,
Yet still asked
For penance.

This poem is an accompaniment to a short story I wrote with the same title, “Little Boy Nun.”  Both my story and poem are based on Catalina de Erauso (1592-1650).  Catalina was placed in a convent when she was four years old, escaped when she was fifteen, took on the appearance and identity of man, and enlisted in the Spanish Army.  She went on to receive the rank of lieutenant, all without revealing her identity.  For three years, she served under her own brother, who did not recognize her.