I am my sister’s keeper

little flower


You show me the poems of some women

my age, or younger

translated from your language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow

enough to let me know

she’s a woman of my time


with Love, our subject:

we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls

baked it like bread in our ovens

worn it like lead on our ankles

watched it through binoculars as if

it were a helicopter

bringing food to our famine

or the satellite

of a hostile power

I begin to see that woman

doing things: stirring rice

ironing a skirt

typing a manuscript til dawn

trying to make a call

from a phonebooth

The phone rings unanswered

in a man’s bedroom

she hears him telling someone else

Never mind. She’ll get tired.

hears him telling her story to her sister.

who becomes her enemy

and will in her own time

light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief

is shared, unnecessary

and political

by Adrienne Rich