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Sara Stasi Mar 22
Time spirals upward
level after level
an ascension of ability.

Perhaps I smolder with inadequacy.
Lost angel in the female order
evading the ultimate aim
of a woman.

Some secrets are
a stained glass pane
a holy station of benevolence.

I was tempered
in the seething heart of knowledge
my soul knows past lifetimes

when I plunged chubby feet
into fur-lined boots
lit a fire to cook
watched smoke
circle upwards into night
heard our herd of reindeer
stamp and snort in the snow

prayed for strength
as winter prowled outside our goahti.

Finding myself poorly suited
for motherhood
I opted out this time around.
Inspired by the Tarot cards Three of Cups + Empress and a past life regression.
Sara Stasi Mar 21
Jane, how could you?

After his books burned in the fire and
he left you to supply the miners

Did you feel abandoned?

The railroad money flowed
and you were a fine hostess, my dear.
But the universe would not abide
calling back the only thing you ever loved.

Jane, your suspicions had good cause.

Born on 11:11,
a fortress of arches and corbels
fed with your mother’s milk
nursed into existence.

You refused to lose another child.

Your mother’s gaze left with nothing to caress
save the sun-drenched marble;
a golden facade to hide your pain.

Loving those golden doors
with an unwavering tenacity;
clutching your only offspring
close to your breast.

Mere feathers in an empty nest.

Under patriarchal pressure
from the east,
vowing to never be
a second Vassar,
weak and emasculated.
We are a castle of ivy, you cried,
not an orchard in bloom.

A seed planted in name of your son-
grown in his memory-
should never bear such fertile fruit.
Each earthy golden pear
an affront to his manhood.

Jane, you traitor!
Susan B could never look you in the eye again.
That such an edict
Should come through a woman!

To plant a garden of narcissus
where daffodils should grow.

Yet sacrifice
would not save you.

A sip at 11:11,
soft sand,
spring water,

A tropical whitewash.

Now she stands near her men,
a little below and off to the side,
subservient to eternity.

Sweet Jane,
would things have changed
if you had borne a girl?
Written upon discovering that Jane Stanford limited the number of women admitted to Stanford, an edict that would remain in place until the 1930's
Sara Stasi Mar 20
Living beneath the marine layer,
I forget the relentless desert
where the sun’s insanity
heats your bones
in a torrid x-ray
your insides strained
shivering with fever.

In the solid green redwood forest
light is milky-white and heavy,
filtered through flat needles.
Ferns trail lazy fronds
the smell of wet earth waits
under fallen leaves.

A slim stand of cottonwoods
is reflected in the creek.
A black lab bounds into the water
shredding the papery bark.

A crow caws, indignant, alarmed
this dog is different–
she cannot be trusted.

I had never seen a banana slug,
couldn’t imagine a creature
so vulnerable and bright
not living in the desert
under a scorched shell.
Sara Stasi Mar 20
I have always heard
an inner voice
speaking in rhythm.
The rhythm of
The American Grain.

of a truth too powerful
to hear so I
shut her mouth
to stop the flow.

Seeing everything and
what is not there,
what is inside of those bones.

Be a journalist, look
see the details
see what is missing?

The poem. That is the poem.
Sara Stasi Mar 20
Low tide exposes
marine terraces and tidepools.
Slim brown bodies
cluster together
near the edge of the pitted mudstone.

One kneels to get a closer look
absorbed in the detail of a sea star
an anemone.

One is hesitant, afraid of the water
a wave, the slippery algae covered rocks.

One only wants to be seen, posed
hip out, knee bent, chin up
with practiced casualness.
Sara Stasi Mar 19
Two paths diverge in a narrow wood
and I, driven by ambition,
deviate from reality and
choose another dimension.

Two doors appear;
I close my eyes.
I favor blind fear,
letting nightmares
brush my eyelids.

Some say that dreams
are a tribulation
a battle wrought
between day and night.
In a garden of tangled vines
I throw myself against the thorns
to contemplate what darkness sees.

Monsters must go about their business, too.
Sara Stasi Mar 15
On my backyard quince tree
downy apple-pears
ripen to the shade of morning suns.
The sweet smell of sugar cookies
fills the garden
as ready fruit falls, uneaten.

It is an heirloom orchard
planted over 50 years ago.
I googled how to use
the tough fruit.

Hard to eat, bitter even when ripe
the woody flesh calls for
a sharp knife and skillful hand
to slice and prepare,
to coax out the sweetness
in pies or preserves.

I never tried to cook one,
too scared the paring knife would slip
in my modern hands.
I lack the sturdy intuition
of earlier women.

— The End —