09 March 2013

International Women's Day? A Poem, Of Course.

Well, it's a day late but I read it yesterday and thought "How perfect." given the way I was feeling. A piggish comment by a male co-worker followed by many, many positive comments and wishes via the interwebs from women friends helped me see, once again, the importance of sisterhood.


You show me the poems of some woman
my age, or younger
translated from our language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow
enough to let me know
she's a woman of my time


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

trying to make a call
from a phonebooth

The phone rings unanswered
 in a man's bedroom
she hears him telling someone else
Never mind. She'll get tired.
hears him telling her story to her sister
who becomes her enemy and will in her own time
light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief
is shared, unnecessary
and political

Adrienne Rich
Diving Into The Wreck, W.W. Norton and Co., 1972

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