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Archive for the ‘The girl opines’ Category

kneeling2

I bow for myriad reasons,

Always my own.

 

Supplication, protest, personal, or otherwise—

To that over which I may

Or may not

Have control.

 

Genuflecting at the altar—

To worship the wheat-wafer body of Christ,

Among choking incense and magenta stained glass.

 

The black-clad faithful, they nod in approval—

I, the stolid girl of duty.

 

Then oh, she rebels.

The trap door awaits me, for the trip to hell.

 

I kneel at your feet—

My head on your thighs

You stroke my hair,

Following passion my mother will never understand.

 

I contemplate the world.

My white privilege, my cultural damage

Does not absorb

The sacred, the sacrosanct.

I am not a time bomb, awaiting implosion.

I walk the streets freely, unquestioned.

 

When we kneel,

It insults the John Deere hat wearing masses—

Chewing tobacco and proclaiming

They will make America great again.

 

What does that mean?

The collective fear curls into a boil that sings

Oh say can you see

By the dawn’s early light—

 

Oh America.

Oh flag, oh anthem

This is not my America.

 

And I bow to my knee

Not from disrespect

But to pay tribute to those betrayed

By my America.

 

 

 

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dolls house2

-after Henrik Ibsen

 

You are a child, Nora.

 

Did it amuse you to see me dancing about,

Dressing up, acting?

I passed from mother’s hand to yours.

I lived by performing tricks.

 

Little lark frisking about, nibbling macaroons—

Gambler, spendthrift,

The capricious little Capri girl.

 

A song bird must sing clear and true, with no false notes.

 

Earning my keep copying the words of others,

Well into the night.

It is wonderful to work—

I almost feel like a man.

 

Play the tarantella, dance with your tambourine,

Good little songbird—

Just . . . not so violently.

 

If your little squirrel were to beg you for something—

Would you do it?

I would skip about and play all sorts of tricks,

If you would only be nice, and kind,

I would twitter from morning till night.

 

One can retrieve her character,

If she owns the crime and takes the punishment.

 

I should so love to say

Damn it all.

Wait, I just did.

 

I drink wine for breakfast.

I shave my legs clean.

I drink in my smell and stop worrying about hell.

 

Tomorrow night, when the dance is over I shall be free.

There’s something glorious in waiting for the miracle.

 

I thank you for your forgiveness.

I will think of you,

Our child, this doll house.

 

But I have other duties, equally sacred.

I no longer believe in miracles—

Other than those I deserve.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“With nowhere yet to rest my head, 

Like these, on earth I wait forlorn. “

 

-Matthew Arnold, Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse

 

It is human nature.

 

We hold fast to our safe pasts,

Wrapped in a familiar pink blanket—

Even when the soft wool becomes a stiff straightjacket,

And we are strapped and trapped.

 

Today, it transformed into a shroud—

While we mourn the end.

Crisp linen wrapped,

Sticky tulips and lilies rest on my breasts.

 

Wandering between two worlds,

One dead,

The other awaiting birth.

I peel aside the black lace veil

To light a candle for the lost.

 

Tomorrow, it will be a parachute—

Strapped snugly, as I dance out the plane.

I drop from the sky

To fly on my chrysalis wings.

 

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America First

America First

Dismembered, one stroke of the pen,

One dollar at a time—

 

The arsonists are in charge of the fire station.

 

Destruction plumes, forcing fumes

To an indifferent, hazy sky.

Books and art in the sulphur flames

Crackle and snap alongside

Food scraps for the aged and

Melting plastic eyes of children’s puppets—

The radio hisses its last static,

Then silence.

 

The water leeches its lead,

Flowing down the strip mine scar.

A fiery freight car carries the lost

To the pyre on the River of the Dead.

 

In this deconstruction of the administrative state,

We’re all going to be deconstructed, destructed and

Tossed into the mass grave of alternative facts.

 

What did you expect?

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She Persisted

she-persisted

“She was warned.

She was given an explanation.

Nevertheless, she persisted.”

 

-U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

 

She persisted.

 

Binders full of women—

Latina, African American, white, transgender, gay.

Hole-punched all of us,

Paraded for your agenda,

Served up for your pleasure.

 

Scold bridled in an iron mask—

Padlocked, depressing our tongues.

Crazy emotions and shrill voices,

Bite at the bridle.

 

Sweetie, you’d be much prettier if you smiled.

 

Silence need not equal silence.

We have choices.

 

Oh, we nasty women,

Centuries of us—

The smell of us in our words,

Our sex, our power, our voices.

 

Strapped and dunked and sunk we rise.

We nasty.  We trashy.

 

No.

 

We persisted.

 

Those words,

May well be my first tattoo.

After the scars heal,

It will be pink and perfect.

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I am humbled. . .

amazon

This  evening, I was testing the search terms I created for Peggy on Amazon.  One was “confessional poets.”  I was shocked where I came in the random algorithms.  It may be arbitrary, but it just made me happy and humbled.

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Day One

pussy-gat

We pull on our pink caps,

Hand-made woolen symbols of our flesh.

Armor for the storm.

 

We take to the streets,

A powerful sea, defending our right to be.

 

This is not about women,

Immigration, religion.

It is about our humanity.

 

You will not tell me who

I will love, or not.

 

My health will not be legislated

My body will not be legislated.

My beliefs will not be legislated.

 

My right to be

Will not be legislated by dark men in stiff navy suits.

 

What I hear and see,

Is not my country—

 

If I am angry,

Then so be it.

 

I have words,

I have breath—

My sisters and brothers stand with me.

 

You will not

Make America hate again.

 

 

 

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