Winter

hedge fence in winter Winter

I walked with my camera this afternoon, on this winter day. During the summer, the outdoor gardens of the botanical garden fill with people on a Sunday afternoon. Today, as I strolled through the children’s gardens, no one was there. I saw only one other set of footprints.

The snow simplifies the landscape. Muted colors contrast with the brilliant white. A hush lays heavy, the snow absorbs the sound. My footfalls crunch beneath me. Winter has a poetry all its own.

Winter Solitude

by Matsuo Bashosnowy spider web climber

Winter solitude–
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.

 

green lawn chair in snowWinter Trees

by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Winter Evening log lean-to with copper pan

by George Trakl

When snow falls against the window,
Long sounds the evening bell…
For so many has the table
Been prepared, the house set in order.

From their wandering, many
Come on dark paths to this gateway.
The tree of grace is flowering in gold
Out of the cool sap of the earth.

In stillness, wanderer, step in:
Grief has worn the threshold into stone.
But see: in pure light, glowing
There on the table: bread and wine.

little library in winterWoods In Winter

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O’er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river’s gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater’s iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

ram sculpture in winter

death

Deathdeath of the day

We don’t speak of death. We have few conversations around what to expect at the end of life, but we do have many misconceptions of what it is to be elderly. Most of us don’t prepare for retirement until it looms close. We don’t talk to our children about death because it is not a subject filled with toys, balloons and cake in our culture.

This morning I spoke with a friend about aging parents. I told her about how my mother in the last months of her life aged decades. Nothing prepared me for the weekend my aunt Mary and I sat with my mother as she was dying. My mother took secrets with her to her grave– that I found out while removing her things from the house the week after she died. That weekend my mother fought for her life even as she was dying. She was frightened and confused and disoriented because of her physical condition. In moments she was lucid and venomously angry with me for fixing the oxygen tube she kept pushing away. She spoke once and said she did not want to die. She was restless and slept and didn’t recognize me. When she died on that November evening, my aunt had stepped out of the room. I would like to say that something profound happened, but my mother just died. There was nothing momentous or dramatic about her death. The lack of great meaning made a huge impact on me. I had witnessed her struggle all weekend and easier than breathing, she had died.

I Haven’t Seen Much Death

Over the progression of my life, I haven’t seen much death. Goldfish, a few guinea pigs, the thirteenth puppy in a litter of puppies my dog had when I was growing up all died. And my grandparents. But I did not see them die. I saw them after they had died. I went to their funerals.

When my guinea pig died in my hands of a seizure, I was about 14 or 15. And it bothered me for weeks. I didn’t know why the guinea pig had had a seizure. The pain of the animal’s passing distressed me. I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I was kind of used to goldfish dying. They seemed somehow fragile.

When the thirteenth puppy in the litter died, I cried and cried. I did not know why that puppy had had to die. My dog had been able to care for all the other pups. It bothered me greatly.

Ghosts

My great grandfather was the person who taught me to read. I grew up on his tales of when he was a young man and had been quite an adventurer. He and my great grandmother moved out of their house and into a nursing home when I was in fifth or sixth grade. He died when I was in tenth grade, months after the guinea pig and the puppy dying. My mother, grandmother and I were out of town when he passed. I dreamt that night of him before I had known he had died. He had said good-bye to me in the dream and I had been confused. When I found out he was dead, I was speechless.

My great grandmother announced she was dying on a regular basis after that. And whatever relatives were within range would come to her side. I was in college when she finally did die. She said good-bye to me on the way out as well and her passing was not much of a surprise.

silence in the trees

Great Silence

When my mom died she was somewhat young. Not an age you think of someone as being ready to die. I had no dreams of her saying good-bye. I sat and said good-bye to her, she didn’t respond. There was just silence, as she was no longer there.

We don’t discuss the impact of other people’s deaths on us. We expect people to respond in very prescribed ways. Kubler-Ross wrote about the stages of grief so people look for a smooth progression through these stages, but it is like find stone markers on an overgrown path and you may loop around a bit.

The week after my mother’s death time warped. Moving through a fog, I had no context for the new reality of my mother not being alive on the planet. I don’t remember crying. My mother didn’t want a funeral. She wanted to be cremated; her ashes sprinkled where her husband’s ashes were; and she wanted no memorial service—we had a wake and only one of her brothers attended.

Lake Michigan at Pierce Stocking Overlook

Life, Death, Time and the Universe

There are few children’s books about death. We don’t hold classes or discussions to prepare for death. We hardly have any education to prepare for living our lives, let alone finishing our lives.

Every day fills with errands and work and trifles and beautiful moments and lucky finds and so much more. We are such small creatures in a vast universe and our lives are miracles. This is humbling. And expansive. And death is part of life and time sweetens or sours things depending on your point of view and if you can find the balance.

New Year’s Day And the Hero’s Decision

New Year’s Day and the Hero’s Decision. No other day of the year exemplifies the hero’s decision the way that New Year’s Day does. People come to the new year full of hope, wishful thinking, determination and the desire to change their circumstance. Many want to lose weight. Others want to find themselves in a relationship. More want have more money, read more books, create more works of art, build more bridges, dig more fence post holes, sew more stitches, save more time, rescue more kittens, throw out less trash, recycle more, compost more, change their oil more regularly, rotate the cans on the shelf, finally clear the clutter…

New Year’s Day As a New Beginning

Every story starts with a beginning. New Year’s Day draws a line. The old year, and all of its mistakes and glories, is over. Today, everything starts fresh.

Each of us is the hero of our own story. Sometimes these stories are inspiring:

Malala Yousafzai who is a young Pakistani woman who was shot in the face. She is an activist for the education of women and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

Daryl Davis who is a blues musician who befriends members of the Ku Klux Klan. He is a black man and his message of friendship has caused approximately 200 Klansmen to give up their robes.

Ron Finley who is a self-styled gangsta gardener in South Central Los Angeles creating food in a food desert.

Joanne Rowling who as a single mom living on benefits wrote the Harry Potter series.

Geoff Lawton a permaculturist who has brought green growth to the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.

While these stories make the news and may inspire us, our everyday existence defines our personal stories. These may not be dramatic, but they are ours and only we know what effort they require. We bring home a paycheck and make certain the bills are paid. Conquering the laundry mountain at the end of the bed is no small thing. We finally learn how to make a decent gluten free loaf of bread. We read for an hour or exercise for 30 minutes every day. All of these achievements start with a thought and a decision. And each New Year’s Day can start a new chapter or a whole new story.

Every Moment A Decision

Heroes make decisions. And each of us is making decisions at every moment whether they are conscious decisions or unconscious decisions. It is very easy to bump along, go to the job that pays the bills, flick through the channels on the television every night, eat the pre-packaged food advertised as convenient, win social approval, read the best sellers, and go about life like floating down a river in an inner tube. It can be pleasant. And this is fine if you are happy and your purpose is to live life in this manner. Actually, there is much to be grateful for in this expression of life. And your life is your story.

However, if you are living your life as described in the previous paragraph and it is not a conscious decision or you have no real purpose of your own, it is quite easy to have your life given over to someone else’s aim. You can be manipulated for all sorts of tomfoolery, skullduggery, and fiendishness.

In addition, life may be lived like a leaf on the wind. If the wind blows gentle and the sun shines warm, it’s a beautiful day. Perhaps someone paid you a compliment or payday arrived. But what about when the wind blows chill, like -15 degrees Fahrenheit? Or it is raining? What about when you are fired from the bump along job? And the roof is leaking? And you burned your grilled cheese after spilling coffee on your white shirt? Do you feel lost?

Our Own Hero

At moments of failure, we learn who we are. We have to fail to be able to dig deep within ourselves and find meaning—how badly we want something, how much an aspect of living is important to us, who is important to us, how we will express ourselves, and what the story of our lives will be. The only way to be aware/awake is to ask questions:

  • Who am I? How am I unique?
  • What will be my epitaph? What will I be remembered for?
  • How do I want to contribute to the world?
  • How will I express myself?
  • Who is important to me?
  • What will I fight for?
  • What do I love?
  • How can I express love?
  • What is my “why”?

 

We, as heroes, make the decisions that start our journeys. What journey will you be on in 2018? How will you make the year your best ever?

Beyond Capitalism

Beyond Capitalism

Recently, Ursula LeGuin asked speculative fiction writers to write about possible systems beyond capitalism for the world to move to. I am currently reading a book titled “Zen and the Art of Making a Living” by Laurence G. Boldt.

Boldt writes in the first chapter:

“About the time the Industrial Revolution was really getting into gear, political revolutions were everywhere replacing kings with parliaments, presidents, and promises. The key promise was that the common man would soon be king. He would possess for his own the kingly prerogatives of power, leisure, and security—power over his station in life, the liberty of leisure, and the security of property.”

Boldt goes on to discuss that capitalism was intended to provide us all, via the free market, with labor saving devices that would ensure our leisure. Capitalism was how through the exchange of goods we would all benefit and become kings of our own castles—whether they were mansions or a trailer. The dream was to obtain power, leisure and security.

What other virtues did we lose track of?

While we were focusing on power, leisure and security, what other virtues and conditions did we lose track of? If we explode the myth of our modern existence, what has the work of most people resulted in? Do we have lives of leisure?

I remember seeing videos of what the future would look like, as predicted by people in the 1950s. The work week was supposed to be shorter. Household chores were to be done with “push button” ease. Everyone was to live in cleanliness, safety and comfort. Leisure.

While the vision of life in the future from the 1950s was a specific kind of rosy view, our reality is not comfortable for most. Recently, a United Nations official investigating poverty in the US in Alabama was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world. Read More.

Further, while things recently have grown more extreme as income inequality has grown, in the US the free market has not been benefiting everyone. More and more families are in poverty. A few years ago a report was issued in the US that stated 1 in 3 American adults were in collection for non-payment of debt. Read More.

Capitalism is Not Serving Us

Capitalism is not serving the majority of us. For instance, most Americans are working longer hours with fewer days off. Further, we have little power in a world where the very rich can influence elections that make them richer. Worldwide, this coveted western existence with our twin obsessions of owning things and consuming, has lead to the degradation of the environment and a pan-global culture lacking in meaning.

With things as they are, what if we step off the treadmill? What if the goal is no longer “more”? Ever more and more “Gross National Product”. Or more clothes, money, electronics, etc.

Further, what have we forgotten about? The environment. Or perhaps our inner lives. Our humanity. Creativity. The ability to have the freedom to direct our lives. The ability to see our own identity beyond what we do for a living. Duty. Wisdom. Peace. Connection to our communities, to our families, and to other people.

Imagine

What if in a future economic system value was placed on not pulling resources from the earth, but rather recycling? What if there was value in not making money but rather being wise? Or clever enough to find creative ways to do with less? What if there was value in work that nurtured the soul?

Before you scoff at these suggestions, remember that you live inside of our societal myths and we are firmly embedded in the “rightness” of our current economic system. Perhaps, in 200 years if humanity survives climate change and the current great extinction, our notions of owning, having and consuming will shift. Maybe, in that time period, this age will be looked on as Golden Age because people will live in a time of scarcity. Or maybe, they will live with more balance and look back at this time periods as a period of obscene over-consumption and stupid degradation of our habitat. Maybe there will be a shift in thought. What future systems can you envision?

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I hope today is filled with treats and no tricks, well at least only fun stuff.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Let’s just make this Halloween the BEST! Think back to when you were a small child, what would have been the best? Be the adult that the small child in you would have wanted to be at that door.

Teenagers Need Candy!

For those passing out candy this year, when a teenager comes to your door, please give them the candy. And without saying “aren’t you too old to be doing this?” Because they could be out doing things much worse like drinking & driving, vandalizing, drugs, etc. I would rather they be knocking on my door asking for candy & having safe/ legal fun than seeing them doing something dangerous. Kids grow up way too fast. Let them spend one evening channeling their inner childhood. Let them just have fun! Fun is good!

No Costume? No Problemo!

Please don’t refuse a child candy because they aren’t dressed up. Some children have autism and/or sensory issues that make dressing up challenging. Also, I used to be a teacher and every year I brought in trunks of costumes because some children cannot afford a costume. Please be kind, everyone you see is participating the best they can. They just want to have fun! And have candy!

Make All Welcome!

Don’t get antsy if they don’t look like they’re from “your” neighborhood. Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. Perhaps they want to spend an evening in a place as nice and safe as where you live. Maybe they live in the country where there aren’t enough houses close together. Please just be kind to everyone! Have fun!

Don’t Judge a Book

One last thing, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs. You may see a teenager, but they may still relate as a younger child!

Have Fun!

Please be kind. You are already being generous, open your heart a little more! Be that really cool house!

Actually, wouldn’t it just be awesome if Halloween was a big street party? A chance to go out and hang with all the neighbors? And costumes are just fun!

Have fun! Eat some candy! Give out some candy! Wear a costume or not and enjoy other people’s costumes! It only happens once a year, make it the best!

Gratitude and Cookies

Gratitude and Cookies! I have been reading “You Are A Badass At Making Money” by Jen Sincere. This book is about mastering your mindset to bring more abundance into your life through a combination of opening to possibility, defining what you are looking for, seeing the value in what is around you, working hard and identifying when good things come your way. Just reading this book has made me more mindful and lent me some optimism.

Gratitude and Cookies

Gratitude and Cookies

Jen Sincero in her book titled “You Are A Badass At Making Money” tells a story of several children who receive cookies. A couple children greedily gobble down the cookies and run off. One of the kids whines about how their cookie isn’t as big as another child’s cookie. Another thinks how many cookies they receive is unfair. Another child criticizes the flavor of cookie because they prefer oatmeal raisin to chocolate chip. Some children happily munch on their cookies, haphazardly say thank-you and just as happily walk away.

And then there is the kid who is truly grateful for the cookie they get to eat. They thank the neighborhood mom who made the cookies and tell her how good the cookies were. They show genuine deep appreciation for the cookies. Maybe this kid even helps wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

I’ll bet that last grateful kid also enjoyed their cookies more.

The Great Big Universe

Sincero in her book says that the universe is like the neighborhood mom handing out the cookies. The grateful kids who enjoy the cookies , the ones who happily munch on their cookies without a fuss are the ones who the mom likes to bake for. However, the mindful, grateful kid who tells that mom how wonderful her cookies were? And helps clean up the kitchen. That’s the one the baker really wants to make cookies for. That’s the kid who will be invited in to stir the batter and lick the bowl and have as many cookies as they want.

I read this and my first thought was of Eddie Haskell from “Leave It To Beaver”, except Eddie Haskell was never genuinely grateful. He was just a suck up. This story of the cookies and gratitude stuck with me. I thought about it off and on for the last two days.

Sincero talks about gratitude being a way to get in touch with faith, to raise one’s frequency to match that of the “Universal Intelligence”, and more. A quote from the book on page 159 reads,

“There is no lack of things to be grateful for if you remember to pay attention.”

Ok, Let Me Take a Look Around

While having read all of this, I still began to have a less than spectacular Monday. I took a minute, took a deep breath and thought about what in my situation I had to be grateful for. A bit of really oppressive black Monday, cloudy day thoughts lifted. A co-worker did an amazing job of presenting the work our team has been doing and he spoke well for us in a meeting, I sent him a thank-you. And it made me feel pretty good.

I paid close attention to the music I was listening to and this added to my good mood.

Arriving home after rehashing some negative past stuff about my career change with my music teacher, I sat at the kitchen table. I took a deep breath and thought of as many things as I could that I am thankful for. I expressed my gratitude for things I would be bummed if they weren’t in my life. Actually, I tweeted them out. I felt silly, but also my mood elevated. So, I tweeted more and I realized there were a great many things that I am genuinely glad are in my life. And a good number of these are pretty damn mundane. Flush toilets, electric kettles and antibiotics spring to mind!

Conclusion?

I am definitely going to keep reading Ms. Sincero’s book. And I recommend this book to other people even if you don’t want to make money like a badass.

 

Uppity Women: Annie Oakley

Uppity Women: Annie Oakley. Oakley was a sharp shooter who traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. In 1889, she performed at the Paris Exposition as part of a three year tour. This tour made her America’s first international star. While this feat in and of itself would make her worthy of note as an extraordinary woman, Oakley was a person of integrity who advocated for women.

Uppity Women: Annie Oakley

Uppity Women: Annie Oakley

From Difficult and Humble Origins

Oakley, born on August 13, 1860, was christened Phoebe Ann Mosey. The log cabin of her birth was near the rural western border of Ohio about five miles east of North Star. Her parents were Quakers from Pennsylvania who had moved to a rented farm.

Oakley was the fifth out of seven surviving children. Her father died when she was six of pneumonia after suffering overexposure during a blizzard the previous year. While her mother remarried, her step-father died shortly after the birth of yet another sibling. The family plunged into extreme poverty.

While her mother tried to keep the family together, too many mouths needed food. Oakley did what she could as a young child. She began trapping animals at the age of seven. She hunted before the age of nine. At the age of nine, Oakley along with one of her sisters was admitted to the Darke County Infirmary. While in the care of the superintendent of the infirmary and his wife, she learned to sew.

Hardship and Abuse

Because of her developing domestic skills, a few months after coming to live at the Darke County Infirmary Oakley was “bound” out to a local family to help care for their infant. The family originally wanted someone who could do more hard labor around the farm. Oakley suffered two years in near slavery to this family whom she only referred to as “the wolves” in her autobiography. At one point, the wife of the family forced Oakley outside into the freezing cold without shoes because Oakley had fallen asleep while darning. With good cause, Oakley ran away.

Skill, Her Debut, and Love

Oakley made her way back to her mother and her family. Her mother had remarried once again. Oakley’s skill in hunting helped to pay the mortgage on her mother’s farm. Annie became well-known throughout the area for her marksmanship.

Frank E. Butler was a traveling show marksman. He placed a $100 bet with Cincinnati hotel owner Jack Frost that he could beat anyone in a contest of sharpshooting. Frost arranged a match between Oakley and Butler. Butler was surprised to find himself pitted against a five foot tall, fifteen year old girl. And even more surprised when after 25 rounds, she beat him.

It was love at first site and Butler courted Oakley. A year later they were married.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Butler and Oakley, who took the name Annie Oakley as a stage name in 1885, began touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Fellow performer Sitting Bull called her “Watanya Cicilla”  which meant “Little Sure Shot”. While she toured with the show, she had a rivalry with Lillian Smith who was eleven years her junior. Oakley was often described as five to six years younger than she really was, perhaps because of the rivalry with the younger Smith.

At one point Oakley stopped touring for a few years, but then resumed in time for the Paris Exposition. Oakley was the highest paid performer in the Wild West show. While touring in Europe she performed for Queen Victoria, President Marie Francois Sadi Carnot of France, and King Umberto of Italy. It is rumored that at the request of German Kaiser Wilhelm II she shot the ashes off of his lit cigarette.

An Advocate for Women

Oakley was a strong woman. She believed women were equal to men and she promoted the service of women in combat operations in the armed forces. During the Spanish-American War she sent a letter to President William McKinley proposing a company of 50 female sharp shooters go to war as part of the United States armed services. This proposal was not enacted. However, throughout Oakley’s career it is estimated she taught 15,000 women how to use a gun.

A Woman of Integrity

In 1904, William Randolph Hearst published a false story that Oakley had been arrested for stealing to have enough money for cocaine. While there a burlesque performer was arrested for stealing who gave Chicago police the name of Annie Oakley, it was not in fact Oakley.

While the story of a cocaine abusing Oakley splashed across headlines and sold newspapers, it was false. Too late to realize the story was false, many newspapers ran with the Hearst article. Hearst trying to avoid a libel suit sent an investigator to Darke County Ohio to dig up dirt on Oakley. The investigator found nothing. Oakley went hunting to clear her reputation.

For the next six years, Oakley pursued winning 54 of 55 libel lawsuits against newspapers who had printed the Hearst story. It cost her more money than she collected in judgments. However, she felt it was important for the truth to be represented and her reputation restored.

Later Life

Oakley won marksmanship awards and set records into her sixties. She thrived beyond a train accident that forced her to change careers to become an actress and a car accident that forced her to wear a steel brace. She continued to advocate for women and was a philanthropist for women’s causes. Her health declined in 1925 and she died a legend in 1926. The famed female sharpshooter was not hemmed in by her time period despite her careful cultivation of her image as a woman with proper Victorian morals. She lived as a daredevil who pushed boundaries, did more, and fearlessly went ahead of her time. She was a true uppity woman.

Feminist Poet: Hollie Poetry

Feminist Poet: Hollie Poetry

Hollie Poetry, who was born Hollie McNish, is a British slam poet. In “Mathematics” she is having at go at anti-immigration math. She is worth a listen.

‘And when I meet these paper claims

That one of every new that came

Takes away ones daily wage

I desperately want to scream

‘Your maths is stuck in primary’

She also has her own YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/holliemcnish/feed

And her website can be found at:

https://holliepoetry.com

I am working on a poem, but it is not done. Despite my singing, the woodland creatures have not appeared to help with my housework.

lazy squirrels not cleaning the house and this has nothing to do with Feminist Poet: Hollie Poetry

Badass Feminist Poet: Qiu Jin

Badass Feminist Poet: Qiu Jin

I am going to have to circle back and write a full blog post about Qiu Jin because she was an extraordinary woman who earned the badass name “Female Knight of Mirror Lake”. For now I am going to post one of her poems titled “Capping Rhymes With Sir Shih Ching From Sun’s Root Land – Poem by Qiu Jin”.

Capping Rhymes With Sir Shih Ching From Sun’s Root Land – Poem by Qiu Jin

Don’t tell me women

are not the stuff of heroes,

I alone rode over the East Sea’s

winds for ten thousand leagues.

My poetic thoughts ever expand,

like a sail between ocean and heaven.

I dreamed of your three islands,

all gems, all dazzling with moonlight.

I grieve to think of the bronze camels,

guardians of China, lost in thorns.

Ashamed, I have done nothing;

not one victory to my name.

I simply make my war horse sweat.

Grieving over my native land

hurts my heart. So tell me;

how can I spend these days here?

A guest enjoying your spring winds?

We Sinful Women by Kishwar Naheed

We Sinful Women by Kishwar Naheed, photo of Naheed

We Sinful Women by Kishwar Naheed

Cooking, cleaning, laundry and making a little music have eaten my weekend. I am exhausted from fighting off a winter sickness and cleaning my basement. Forgive me for not presenting a researched and original written piece this day. Instead I would like to present a poem, “We Sinful Women”,  from one of the “badass” feminist poets: Kishwar Naheed.  Naheed is an Urdu poet from Pakistan. She is the founder of the Hawwa Foundation that supports women who do not have an independent source of income. A copy of this poem in English and its original can be found in We Sinful Women: Contemporary Urdu Feminist Poetry by Rukhsana Ahmad.

We Sinful Women

It is we sinful women

who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don’t sell our lives

who don’t bow our heads

who don’t fold our hands together.

It is we sinful women

while those who sell the harvests of our bodies

become exalted

become distinguished

become the just princes of the material world.

It is we sinful women

who come out raising the banner of truth

up against barricades of lies on the highways

who find stories of persecution piled on each threshold

who find that tongues which could speak have been severed.

It is we sinful women.

Now, even if the night gives chase

these eyes shall not be put out.

For the wall which has been razed

don’t insist now on raising it again.

It is we sinful women

who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don’t sell our bodies

who don’t bow our heads

who don’t fold our hands together.