Wild Strawberries

I received a book of poems in the mail today, and the little girls asked me to read one to them.  Sure, I said, glancing through.  But these are not children’s poems; these poems are smeared with blistering rage, with grief and bloody childbirth.  Feminist poetry?  Or women’s writing?  In what way or what domain is that limited to the female gender?

This evening, the children and I – two girls and a boy all ten and under – walked down the neighbors’ field, a great long stretch of it, the children running ahead of me.  At the bottom, the children knelt and picked wild strawberries, the largest the size of my thumbnail.  Crimson and sharply sweet.  I lay back in a fold of the earth under the blue sky swirled with curled bits of cloud.  All around us, Indian paintbrush was knotted in buds, so I watched the children through waving green stems topped with bits of gold.  My daughter gathered a whole handful of this tiny fruit and offered me the largest.  Mama, try.

Biting a minuscule seed between my teeth, I thought of those poems, my secret stash of nighttime reading.  More than anything else, bearing and raising my children has shaped my life, and so, perhaps, those poems, with their raw grit and embrace of the female body, are women’s writing.  Perhaps the limitation is my fixation, when, instead, the word should be possibility.

female

there is an amazon in us.
she is the secret we do not
have to learn.
the strength that opens us
beyond ourselves.
birth is our birthright.
we smile our mysterious smile.

– Lucille Clifton

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About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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