They Should Be Afraid of…

They Should Be Afraid of Old Women

A mother now, I can with steady hands
extract a shard of wood or glass and smile
to ease her nerves. I do not flinch; no bands
of fear constrict my chest. It�s been a while

since smaller hurts � the scrapes of life, the bumps �
disturbed my work. With children came a new
defining of what�s worth a panicked thump
of heart. Or maybe it�s just age � who knew

I�d grow so calm? And yet, I am not cold.
I bleed with every news report, each child
at risk � the tears rise quick and uncontrolled;

even fiction breaks my heart. We must remold
this world. My voice and manner may be mild,
but my spine will be as iron when I�m old.

Mohanraj, 7/5/13

(for Ursula K. LeGuin, among others)

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