I come from a long line of strident women
First born porcelain cleaners.
I have cleaned white bowls for 40 years
if you count the early days when my brothers did yard work
and I polished taps and sanitized alongside Mother.
I tried to levy birth order then
for wrinkled finger tips, upright vacuums white noise, and
dusters made of outgrown undershirts.
Stared with longing out the window for
a clue less obvious than
the flowering buds of my own soft flesh.
Come to think of it,
I denied things long after;
my femininity an afterthought,
broadcast an ‘I Can Do Anything’ mantra like a war shield,
blazing fearless into
life and love.
Life inside me changed everything.
Womb blossoming like a June rose
fragrant with maternity, all thoughts of
equality cracked like the precious hand
of my grandmother’s china doll.
Clarity came with mother’s milk and creation,
my benediction to a long line
of strident women