I Leave You With an Old Poem of Mine

My chest is aching; I think I have to turn away from this for a few hours at least. But I’ll leave you with an old poem of mine that is, I think, relevant.

*****

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.

*****

7/5/13

(for Ursula K. Le Guin, among others)

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