Where does it all begin?
God is good; woman bleeds.
It was the depression or before.
You were cooking over an open
greasy fire and the house burned
to the ground. And you were cutting
the heads off chickens and laughing
at the horror of them walking backward
and dancing. And you were slitting
the throats of two-hundred-pound hogs.
And keeping your future husband
from priesthood with seven children.
You showed me my stuffed puppy legs
in the air. He’s dead! you said.
Or you were a little girl with an iron
and a board for Christmas. You learned
to drive stick in a field. And you gave
birth to father jumping off trains
or you gave birth to mother
who only gave birth to two.
You were a witch, our house
Adorned with dead animals,
fish curling to free themselves
from the wall.
This poem can be found in the volume, Best New Poets 2016.
Think about how the poem made you feel. How different was your grandmother’s perceived role in the world as a woman, and both the expectations placed and what’s possible for a woman today?
May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.