Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

The Old Way

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

The Old Way

Article excerpt

There were no trees

There were no men

There was no length

There was no anger

There was no war

We held court in the late mornings, after jasmine tea,

cooled enough to drink through bendy straws

There were petty disagreements, escalating as the moon waxed

There was roughage, there was grass, shrubbery, walnut pancakes

We played cards, we ran for sport, we had no destination

Our bellies no longer turned full, we stayed to ourselves when we saw fit

I opened a stand on the balcony and sold trinkets

I knew no one would visit my worn merchandise

I saw no end result from my actions

I wanted a return to conflict

I wanted to press against something or someone

who would alternately love and shame me

I wanted to gnaw at the bone of a killed animal

I wanted a return to the old way

I wanted to stop talking, stop dissecting each emotion

I wanted back each delicious mistake, to be relived on my deathbed

I wanted to primp and wax and argue with myself

No one could provide me with the answer to my needs

Every mirror had been broken; we knew what we looked like

only by the expression on the passersby s faces

[Author Affiliation]

Stella Padnos-Shea's poems can be found in Chest medical journal; Yes, Poetry; La Petite Zine; and Lady Parts, an online Tumblr collaboration with jewelry artist Margaux Lange. …

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