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Posts Tagged ‘woman’

 

 

And though I curse you

and drive you and push you,

body, you hold me,

you carry the soul,

you transform the plum

and the leaf into laughter,

you make tears out of water

and wine. You leap

and you slump, you

sing and you hunger,

you skip and run and crawl.

You let me be part of the miracle

when you made a new body within—

building spine and brain and chin

and toe out of broccoli and coffee and toast.

And when I am clumsy,

you wear the scars to remind me

where we have been. You

change, you soften, you rearrange.

You heal, you insist, you rest.

How, after all these years,

do I still find ways to ignore you?

You who have carried me across finish lines,

you who have held the weeping child?

Why, when I look in the mirror,

do I do anything but marvel

at your skill? Imagine, you breathe

without my command. You regenerate cells.

You tell the blood where to go and when.

Oh body, I’m sorry. I have hurt you. And you,

you hold me like the child that I am,

and you breathe me, you teach me,

you let me try again.

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Like a pomegranate, full

of hidden seeds.

That’s what they say

about a woman’s mind.

What they don’t know is

exactly how juicy

those seeds might be,

how full of sweetness,

how red, how if they

were planted, the world

would never look

the same again.

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What She Really Wants

When she is drought,

be rain, and when

she is rain, be cup.

When she is lost,

let her be her own map,

and when she is wind

be wind. There are trees

in her, no, whole orchards.

Be soil and sunshine and bee.

When she is seed,

be time. When she

is moon, be sea.

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The field is full of sweet clover.

This is the truest line I can write.

There was a time when,

with discriminating precision,

I cleared this field of sweet clover,

preferring only rushes and grass.

Now, after a rain-rich spring

and a sweltering summer,

the deep field is startlingly aglow

with millions of tiny yellow flowers.

The field full of sweet clover is beautiful.

This is an opinion.

A woman can think what she wants to think.

Sometimes her thoughts think her.

Beautiful. Not beautiful.

This argument stretches

past the open field.

Sweet clover has a taproot

is difficult to pull up when the earth is dry.

This is a fact.

In a woman, there are ten thousand

tap-rooted lies about how she looks

and who she is. If she pulls one up,

and even a bit of the lie remains,

it comes back twice as vigorous.

The field is full of sweet clover.

There is something so comforting

about knowing it is true,

so comforting I say it again.

The field is full of sweet clover.

There are thousands of honeybees.

The field is full of sweet clover.

I look into it like a mirror.

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Waking Up Grateful


You have to remember this isn’t your land.
It belongs to no one

—Philip Levine, “Our Valley”

I am not your land. Not your woman, either.
Not your girl, not your scapegoat, not your Juliet.
I can’t be mapped, can’t be trapped, can’t be pinned.
Can’t be bought, can’t be caught, can’t be won.
But here I am, open handed, and here
you are. I don’t know this valley,
though I’ve walked it many times.
Let’s learn it again together. This time on our knees.

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Oh body, I’ve tried to silence you.
I have told you not to hunger
when you were starved.
I told you to run and ski and swim
when you were tired.
I tugged you long into the dark corridors of night
when you wanted to sleep.
I draped you in dresses two times too big
to hide your angled bones.
And you, you have lured me to the waterfall
to stand beneath the startling shock.
You have lain me down in tall grass
to lose myself staring up at sky.
You have curled into the softness of men
and held the fear of children.
Inside panic, you have found breath.
You have opened to let the new life pass through,
and given milk and song and hum.
And when the tears want to come,
you let them come.
Body, my vessel, my carriage, my curse,
my blessings, my bane, my teacher,
I am still learning how to be a woman.

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Do not say she is beautiful.
Say she is the engine, the fuel,
the rubber tires, the race itself.
Say she is the handle of the drawer,
the door’s brass knob, the lock unlocked.

Say she’s the path. The steepest road.
The cold when the sun goes down.
Tell her she is the infinite dark,
the orbiting moon, an eagle,
the relentless wind.

Say she’s galoshes, a garage door, the faint
scent of rain. The barren winter.
The nothing you can’t quite touch.
But do not say she is beautiful.
She’ll come to crave such dross.

Tell her she’s the twisted twig,
the beacon at the bay, the river’s
song when it meets a rock, the fog,
the leaping wild rose that blooms
and thrives any damn where it pleases.

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Bluster

All day the wind thrusts
against the house.
It does not want
to get in, it is doing
what wind does.
All day, these thoughts,
these driving thoughts.
But they are not
like wind. They want
very much
to get in.

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Chapter 43: The News

Chapter 43

Looking up
at the moon
is a woman.
On her cheek
there is a tear.
In the tear there is
a teacher.
In the teacher
is a story.
In the story
is the moon.
Looking up at that moon
is a woman.
On her cheek
there is a tear.
In the tear
there is a teacher.
In the teacher
is a story.
In the story
is the moon.

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Woman
who dreams
of flying,
do not
be sad
because you
were not given wings.
Such strong legs you have, pushing against the air with every step, and such fine skin that stands at attention in prickly praise
as the wind
lifts you the
best
that it can.

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