The teeth

I dream a dog,
large, yellow, short-chained
to the rear wall of my house,
in sun, rain,
starlight, lunging
and snarling. Its man comes
and goes. I can stand the days,
I say, but at night
can’t you keep it
at yours? He doesn’t answer.
I can’t get past the teeth
to loosen the chain.

First published in PPC Covid Drum 13, June 2020

1932

reading the poems of women
born the same year as my mother
unaccountably
     a homespun hat
     a handloomed cloth
     she’ll leave me
     paintings of cats
     with flowers
     she’ll leave me
     a blanket-stitched potholder
     a gingham apron
unaccountably I fold
into tears

First published in Writ Poetry Review 4, May 2020

If only a woman

If only a woman could get a jacket
     with an inside pocket
     an elegant fit around her broad shoulders
     and sleeves that didn’t expose her wrists
If only a woman could get some gloves
     to neatly sheath her gracile hands
     without webbing
     her long fingers
If only a woman could get some boots
     to let her walk wherever she wants
     without hurting her back
     or binding her toes
The world might be okay, after all, if a woman
     could do that