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Middle Woman

i am a middle womon

life  parades  past  me  hoping

but i do not choose

my eyes are sharp

and i never tire of looking

the world is waiting

to hear me declare my name

there have been sounds

but they take no shape

make no music

so I wear ties and shirts

and sit with my legs spread

my mouth is slightly open

i am ready


i am a middle womon

the chords of my voice have stretched

dissonant and sweet

and will no longer be quieted

i have been practicing these years

and can throw my voice across hills of bent trees

it can go farther than i ever imagined

i have been built with those hard woods

weight of my living

bears down against the grain

resting on knots that cause weakness

but add color and beauty

fierce winds bend and move me


i am ready

i am a middle womon

half of me has been in the making

"the next half lies in the morning just before dawn

i will enjoy this new sculpting

i have more tools for the cutting now

a more steady hand

my stomach has the strength

when i swallow evil i can call it back up

there is nothing i have to keep down

i will taste everything

my belly will bear the load

these muscles are hard

i am ready








Sharon Mooney, “Middle Womon”, in Women and Aging, an anthology by women, ed. Alexander, Jo, [et al], 1986, CALYX Inc, Corvallis OR, p.106.

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