They Should Be Afraid of Old WomenA 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.
(for Ursula K. LeGuin, among others)