Snow in May—a disappointment
to daffodils. But crocuses carry on.
As do the intrepid Snowdrops.
I know a woman who said,
joy is a drink that always spills.
But she goes on.
She goes on at dawn,
when her plans are scattered
by a cold dry wind.
I know another woman
who fought a large machine,
was bloodied, but stayed true to her terms.
I know one whose teeth
-biblical promise notwithstanding-
were set on violent edge from sour grapes
eaten by her own parents.
I know a woman,
who knows more than one woman,
whose trust was twisted
by the double-bind of a patriarchal God.
I know a woman
whose words keep the soil mellow
and bring blossoms to wild currant bushes.
And one woman I know,
spreads a pond,
and its cattails,
upon small awake canvasses.
I know a woman who pours
wisdom into teachers’ teacups,
into the cupped hands of children.
One woman I know carries on by the
comfort she gives away.
When I stop, I can hear her sing an ocean.
And I know a woman who carries on
under a foot of frozen pain, waiting,
against the irrevocability of permafrost.
And when the world sleeps,
I’ve seen these women gather,
arm in arm,
at the water’s edge of hope and sorrow,
and open their mouths
and let the moon
shine down their throats.
Because if they didn’t the world would end.