Translations – Adrienne Rich

You show me the poems of some woman my age, or younger translated from your language Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow enough to let me know she’s a woman of my time obsessed with Love, our subject: we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls baked it like bread in our ovens worn it like lead on our ankles watched it through binoculars as if it were a helicopter bringing food to our famine or the satellite of a hostile power I begin to see that woman doing things: stirring rice ironing a skirt typing a manuscript till dawn…

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The Cycle Continues – Lidwina Bautista

  I see her — a small, brown woman pushing a baby carriage behind a white woman; sadness envelopes my heart, weep I say will my weeping free her or console her? I see their passive faces wanting to disappear and hide their faces educated women, forced to flee the poverty and bleak future at home.   I wonder what she is thinking fear of people laughing and feeling sorry for her JUST A NANNY, a maid, must comply to her master’s wishes/commands or be sent back to her past from which she is trying to run away.   Hush,…

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Pears – For Kathleen B. Nestor by Mary D’Angelo

  O, how you filled my baby days with sticky sweet-tasting pureed pears, strained through the family sieve. The yellow-skinned fruit with the spherical base and tapered top that you would skin with your sharp knife.   How we laughed when the cat played with the peel, pawing it through the air, while I sat strapped in the high-chair, my mouth shaped in the smallest O, my eyes wider than the years between us.   My mouth a hangar, the spoon of pears a plane that zipped though the air, each swallow followed by a laugh.   How our memories…

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The Weakness – Toi Derricotte

That time my grandmother dragged me through the perfume aisles at Saks, she held me up by my arm, hissing, “Stand up,” through clenched teeth, her eyes bright as a dog’s cornered in the light. She said it over and over, as if she were Jesus, and I were dead. She had been solid as a tree, a fur around her neck, a light-skinned matron whose car was parked, who walked on swirling marble and passed through brass openings — in 1 9 4 5. There was not even a black elevator operator at Saks. The saleswoman had brought velvet…

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The Lover

I want to approach you naked in my musings and black jeans. To join you and share a belly laugh without invading to relax with you listening, attuned to befriend you without crowding. Love and caress you, with no touching skin. To watch the Aspen outside, shudder in the storm, cold. Rain beckons us Water beads Horizontal confetti Tap tap tapping “Cheers” on the window. As I kiss the fine hair dotting the length of your spine, I want to wrap myself around you twice — like I’m six feet tall. Protective, urgent. Make you moan As the wind howls,…

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Heirloom Hocked – Sheryl L. Nelms

  I always gathered spring greens with Gram   down by Mission Creek   we would climb those steep banks picking dock dandelion lamb’s quarter sheep sorrel poke weed and nettles   using knowledge handed down from mother to daughter from England and Ireland   now with Gram dead and a mother who got too sophisticated become uncertain can’t quite remember   how many times do I boil the poke and was it the leaves or the berries?   Sheryl L. Nelms.

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The Buck – Susanna Rich

  When I was ten, Grandmother told me to get her stuffed when she died like the buck head by the door catching webs of evil in his antlers.   She was to be seated in the living room on the sofa (or chair, our choice), facing the piano where I would play Brahms, Liszt and Chopin.   Her eyes were to be open (maybe a little touch of glass, for sparkle) and looking upwards (slightly to the right) like St. Theresa or Sebastian pierced with arrows,   her hands–demurely covered in white lace fingerless gloves– propped holding the dome…

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Warning Signs of Suicide – Mental Health – Body & Health

With the holidays coming fast, I like to remind myself of those at risk.  So many people, young and old, feel overwhelmed by this time of year–especially when TV, movies and magazines gear everything toward the family. It is wonderful to have that but many of us legitimately do not, for any number of reasons. I used to become suicidal at Christmas and New Year’s which makes me aware of these warning signs for myself–as I am still prone to think and feel that way–and anyone I know or might meet. In the near future, I will write a post…

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