I Am the Woman – Judith Swann

Judith Swann on heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

I am the woman your mother warned you about
But as I am in the office, is not who
I am in the garden, is not who I
am at table with a poet or two.
In New York I’m not the same as in Iowa,
In Puerto Rico I’m not the same.
I am the woman, you were warned

that all along the island-pebbled coasts
of Florida, Louisiana, Maine,
the vibracores from the wetland hotspots
are not the same; and the mother lode is change.
The story does not stop and I have not stopped
being the woman your mother warned you about

though not all of the story gets told again
Who remembers the names of the people
who fought against women’s right to vote?
And what was the name of that boy who tried
to push your head down, like the mating drake
drowning the breeding duck?

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