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Apr 2018
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 28, 2018)

What they have to teach us,
I do not know. Something
about spoiled milk
or how bees become bullies,
the frayed benefits
of reservation.
Backed into corners,
most often by themselves,
they portray sinister
with moll faces, half-shadowed
in office hallways.
But they are no caricatures
of femme fatales;
they are their own systems
of blood and belief
and all the synonyms
of vindictive.
There was the prim boss
in the office downtown
overlooking the library.
She told me men
aren’t worth crying over.
They are like trains:
another one comes along
every fifteen minutes.
I was good cop to her bad cop
until she turned on me.
Then there was
the aristocrat of orchards
dismissing the riff-raff
with her friendly fire.
And the Shakespearean villain
of Amish country.
That was my first time in the tank
with a real shark. And then
the one who literally
put curses on people,
a real nails-in-the-parking-lot girl.
I think about her
every time I feel
bad mojo.
And does it all go back to the girl
who lived behind us
on Claudine.
Our fight in the street:
I was punching and she was slapping.
She called me Indian Giver
after she grifted all my toys.
They’re full of slurs, these broads,
and you feel it the first moment
they try and push you over,
the haze of smoke
floating over their kettles.
They **** out the trust.
Maybe they’re born with it;
maybe it’s in the makeup
or that their tantrums are like seizures
they can never come out of.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michele after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michele poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
Mary McCray
Written by
Mary McCray
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