Writer


Did you know that Sarai/Sarah is mentioned more times in the Bible than Mary, Mother of Jesus?

I am from Innana
Sound alike Sumerian goddess
Woman of wisdom, ancient crone
Deceived sister stripped naked
Tender flesh hung upon a stake
Three days of darkness
No moon
To rise again with rage
Dumuzi upon the throne
Pretender of power
Without hesitation, she points
Take him!

 

I am from Susanna
Apocryphal Biblical mother
Lusted after by elders
Sung in operas
A beauty bathing
Imprisoned and accused
Temptress to all
Round body open to insults
No one to hear her truth

 

I am from Suzannah
Grandmother of many
Sinewy pioneer
Breaker of land
Planter of strength
Hardened by prairie drought
Strong hands buried in a field
No one caring enough
To spell her name correctly.

 

I am from Carrie
Grandmother farm woman
Barrel staved and corseted
Hands of noodle dough and lemon pie
Rib filling woman
Kitchen bound with groaning board
Filled with arthritis and eczema
WCTU whispered with her
While men distilled their confusion
Over withered stalks
Fornication an abomination
Not to be remembered.

 

I am from Olivia
Snow topped grandmother
Too merry for log cabins
Teller of stories
Creator of visions and gowns
Cut from imagination and magazines
Painter of poinsettias upon china lives
Pink flamingos perched to fly
With a child’s dreams
Of palms, surf, shells
And salty tears.
I am from Glennie
Vigorous grandmother
Of place settings and manners
Imparted with grace
Oil paint trees spread upon shores
Freeing fingers from white gloves
Until glaucoma’s pressure
Misplaces only the brightest moments
A laugh over love, three times found
More names than fit upon a single stone
To honor husband, lover, and companion.
I am from Barbara
War bride enamored of Clark Gable
Matched perfection, coordinated interior
Volunteer of service and advice
Emblazoned with Greek letters upon her chest
Never revealing the secrets
Hostess adept at hors d’oeuvres and pretense
Artist imitator with skill
Never claimed as self
Womb excised too young
To recognize what had been taken from her.

 

I am from Margaret
Childless mother claimed
Questioner asking the unanswerable
Speaker of truth
Binding us with hoops of steel
Bookshelves supporting creaking walls
Weakened too young to know of Salk
Chords of symphonies echo
With racial blindness
Generations of her daughters mourn.