They say—what do they say?
That we look just alike or nothing
alike. They cannot agree.
Always shouting though,
no matter how unsure they are,
trading us like firecrackers,
inspecting us like freckles.
I know what you think, dear—
that I am the great one, the one
destined, and you are
alone in the hollow of your heart
with wet hair and a slick sole.
Let me tell you, there is nothing
glamorous about the empty page,
nothing bold or brave.
I am not all I seem, don’t you think?
Not the neck of the swan,
the simple turn of a haiku wrist.
When night leaks in,
the thread of a dark sea,
I am still you, sister, still me.
Oh my oleander,
we two, with eyes like dew,
we are dark, dark girls.
We do not walk on air,
but carry lead deep down,
down in our heart of hearts.
And we carry it like no one else can.
Sara Baker is a writer, editor, and consultant on gender justice and nonprofit work. She has an MA in English with Writing Concentration from the University of Tennessee, where she studied with Marilyn Kallet and Jack Gilbert and won the John C. Hodges Graduate Poetry Award. Her poetry can be found in Earth’s Daughters, TRIVIA, Paper Nautilus, and Glass, among other publications, and she writes on feminism and creativity at http://sagamuse.wordpress.com.
Photo: Brooke Shaden