On Watching Phenomenal Women Bow Their Heads


I have watched my
mother shrink in the
presence of men who
are nowhere near
half the woman she
is, and I find her
voice hiding beneath
the tables in our house
when I am cleaning,
but she never seems
to pick it up.

I have seen photos of
this warrior in overalls
with a short bob and
a smile so wide you
could measure out the
times she had given
it to others, I have met
this woman only in
my memory and in the
boxes we call history.
I wonder if we are
taught to become more
like the silences between
sentences as we get
older. I wonder if I will
be expected to bow my
head and wait to be
spoken to before I can
begin to tug the sutures
from my lips.