I knew a woman in a wheelchair,
lived in a clapboard house,
with a lawn she somehow trimmed.
and a garden she kept well-tended.
And another had breast cancer.
She wrote letters to all her friends
in the brief nauseous pauses
between radiation treatments.
Another had five kids
and a husband who walked out
but somehow put food on their table
and a roof over their head.
Another got a degree in some branch of science
and the consensus of her male friends was that
“I didn’t know women went in for
that sort of thing.”
Of course, there was the one
who was forever trying to hide
the bruises on her face with makeup,
stayed with her abuser.
And another who hated herself so much
she sat around the house all day,
getting fatter and fatter
so she could hate herself the more.
From the start, there was need for women.
And a physiology to go with it.
Life was incomplete. There was a vacuum.
And then all kinds started filling it.