To-Do List before Writing a Poem: molly mcglennen Recall the words we want her to teach nookomis, niigiizis, zaaga'igan affix them to photos the picture-words imagined in blood. Trace the footprints of shadows; she washes her hair at night in lakes that have always bathed us, children asleep, four to a room. Build the house again, creak of floorboards birchbark cauldron to hold manomin. A butter moon says it's going to be fall. Feel her wrist and forearms ache the years of flour biscuits scrubbing screen doors; oscillating fan whirling furious, sandy air. Name the sons she buried early: one's decay in the VA hospital agent-orange-riddled; the other crashing to asphalt, atonement. Listen when she says. Evince the scars. Return. 200 frontiers/2007/vol. 28, nos. 1 & 2 The Dance She knows the length of each day in shadow-slants across her bare floor. They grow longer as the pain in both knees festers-- metal balls marbling beneath cap and skin, jingle dress dancing in the marrow of her bones, the discomfort that comes from a woman's lifetime of building her family-- she stiffly moves her chair to follow what is left of the lingering November sun, closes her eyes
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jul 17, 2007
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