It was a wheat farm in Iowa in the 1920s, all brothers and two girls, and a father who doesn’t believe girls should go to school.
This was not unusual for the times
I imagine the day you left that farm with your sister going all the way to Washington state as if only an ocean would stop you.
She worked to put you through college and you worked to put her through college
back when a job could still purchase such a thing.
And I wonder about the energy that took to be stubborn, to believe otherwise— in a new city demanding new pathways and the tall shadows of a multitude of doorways.
I think about how wonderfully before you were, before Mrs. degrees and empowerment seminars and leaning in,
what Leroy was thinking while he was waiting downstairs at the boarding house. Did he tell you over diner
about having the courage of your convictions? Did you talk about your courage and your convictions, and how beautiful were your convictions?
Reinvention is something we do on a Monday nowadays. What was it to be a girl in the 1920s breaking out, leaving behind?
Was it ever about vocations and motherhood, or just the hubris of a father farmer? What was the fuel for the engine of your determination?
Far from the jazz and the liquor and the short fringed skirts, two rebellious teachers were smoking their own inevitabilities.
And how I never saw this in you even when I was in your arms.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michelle after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michelle poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31. Some of their pictures are posted here: http://www.marymccray.com/33-women.html.