Women/Men: A Case Study (# Lost)
My mother told me the plan.
I don’t remember when.
Arrange the day to have on
fresh dress, be newly bathed,
a nice supper on the table,
perhaps perfume, and on the right
days, thoughts arranged towards sex,
(though such a word was never spoken),
a small blossom of early arousal
like a gathered bouquet from the garden,
fresh and carelessly arranged.
The only other wisdom was
“Don’t sit in boys’ laps,
especially when wearing shorts.”
That was the world when all the leftovers
were put away into the refrigerator
wearing little shower caps.
And the fathers, then,
came home, ate, repaired things,
slept and left to work again.
Sometimes we went fishing,
visited relatives, they played cards,
we ran wild and happy, came back
at dusk at fathers’ shrill whistles,
“Any, any, in free!”
Whatever that meant.
The scales have swung wildly on the fulcrum:
prince consorts killed at the end
of each year; tents of concubines;
stages brisling with Miss Universes
aprance and on parade; oiled muscles
knotted and forced up to win a trophy.
since the earth is tilted, off kilter,
but coping. Though we spin
in this vortex, we calmly stroke
through the swirl as if doing
a dawn swim at the YMCA,
calm motion and then
the kick turn and loop under
at the concrete wall,
ready to sputter up and do
the next lap.... again and again.
About the author:
Carol Hamilton has upcoming and recent publications in Atlanta Review, New Laurel Review, Tribeca Poetry Review, Poet Lore, U.S.1 Worksheet, The Penmen Review, Aurorean, Tar River Review, and others. She has published 16 books, children's novels, legends, and poetry, including most recently, Master of Theater: Peter the Great and Lexicography. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize.