Sunday, October 25, 2009

Poem of the Week #95

The Difference

Man paid once, giving up a rib,
to unwittingly bring forth
the eternal helpmate. Single-
minded and simple in his ways,
it would be left to her, meat
from the rib bone, to multiply
and nourish life from flesh.

Coming from the bone, woman
would be the one to tear herself
open, again and again and again.
First, to be the bed for the seed
and then to grow it, only to find
herself rooted to the fruit. The fruit
plucked early and torn from the vine.

Man, mended and whole, woman
always divided and dividing,
always trying to close the gap
between what is and what might be.
Man, being. Woman, doing. Done.
Should she dare not to rot, become
purposeful and one-pointed

become again bone instead of meat,
she will be called witch or bitch,
tied and burned and buried.
She will howl at the pale moon
and be called hard. She will be
called mysterious spinster, alone
in the house at the end of the street.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poem of the Week #94

How Come?

No farm girl, me.
I never milked a cow
or carried slops. I never
climbed a plank at five a.m.
to the top of the manure pile.

I don’t know horses
or their horsey ways.
I never birthed a calf,
rode a tractor, or collected
warm eggs in a basket.

How come then
I am drawn to the smell
of cow flank, hay bale,
and sun-warmed
clods of earth?

How come
Caroline’s kitchen
with its cardboard crates
of plum tomatoes, cukes, and okra
feels so like home?

How come I love a counter top
lined with jars of pickles
and at night, the sound
of crickets crooning
to the cold stars?

What gentle farm hand
(with dirty nails and pure heart)
takes me under those stars
and pulls me to this ground
of earthen bounty?

Lisa Vihos

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poem of the Week #93

The Window

How good to have a quiet window
a frame upon the world,
a place the mind can wander through
and visions be unfurled.

To cleave a path that leads away
and then comes back again,
to show a blossom dip its head
and shake its slender stem.

On stormy days to be a shield
on sunny days a sieve,
the window always does the job,
is always there to give.

To cast a glance on country field
or cityscape the same,
the window makes it all a gift
on which to write one’s name.

It doesn’t matter what the view
(just that a view is there),
and that one takes the time to look,
to let the window share.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Poem of the Week #92

The Dance

I’d like to teach you the steps to the dance,
but no one taught them to me. I learned them
out there, with the others, leaving to chance
the choreography. Do we rise? Do we bend?

An offered hand, a pirouette, a leap
and then a landing. Breathe in, breathe out, fall
and then return to standing. Sometimes creep
but never crawl, and never let yourself be small.

Feel the quake inside your bones and let
your heart be joyful. Feel it like a current run
through every joint and sinew. Never fret
for when you dance, you light up like the sun.

Your body knows the tune, so let your hips
be partner to the song upon your lips.

Lisa Vihos