A Difficult Poem

What Rough Beast (https://www.indolentbooks.com/category/online-projects/what-rough-beast/) took a half dozen pieces of mine, as they are building up their poem a day feature. They take political work that doesn’t have to be topical, which is kind of how I write.
These poems were written when I was in residence at Agate Fossil Beds in Nebraska. As part of the National Park system it is now closed, and I can’t help worrying about the rangers I knew, and what would be visitors are missing. i was living a cloistered peaceful existence, but the Kavanaugh hearings were raging. Also, outside of my Santa Fe bubble I felt highly sensitisized to the historical suffering of women out on the high plains as part of its dark histories of genocide and more. The scary phrase “rapable/I must be a woman” came to me, and I started with it.
For a long time I’ve tried to crack the koan of a magical woman in a Buddhist context who becomes enlightened and then is told by a misogynist observer to turn into a man. I don’t fully get it, but I added it in.
Agate produced endless musings about the passage of time, the nature of mammals, and extinction. And when I looked up from my desk I saw the neighbor’s kids out playing. I guess what appeared in my mind’s eye then was me as a child.
So here it is:

I must be a woman

although the goddess Tara
attained enlightenment
she didn’t change bodies

so I’m
two things at once

female form

the bones of the Miocene
dance with stars
marking every
mammalian joint

if there is a mouse here
I haven’t seen it yet

just a little girl
with pigtails
drawing on pavement

here at the end of an age
here at the end

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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