WOMAN (IN THE WOODS) – a poem by Laura Sweeney


–after Louise Bogan


Woman you have wild in you.
And providence.
Content in the humid coop of your heart
to nosh pico de gallo & sliced mozz on French baguette.

You see the turkey emerge from the green summer grass,
though you do not hear
running water
only the whir of batteried fans.

Instead of wait, you return to journey.
Instead of stiffen, you bend like the palm tree.
Instead of taking man as friend, you turn

You think of goats bleating in the field,
or of clean wood cleft by an axe.
Your love is eager, earnest.
You’ve brought yourself here to relax.

You hear in every door knock,
three at 6am, six at 3am,
rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat─
a welcome chant.

And when you cross the doorsill
take your life back.


Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in central Iowa.  She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist Conference in Oslo, Norway.  Her recent poems appear in Appalachia, Hedge Apple, Pilgrimage, Potomac Review, Harpur Palate, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Ithacalit, and St. Katherine’s Review.  Her recent awards include a residency at Sundress Publication’s Firefly Farms, and a scholarship to attend the 2019 Sewanee Writers Conference.

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