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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

day 3 of National Poetry Month ~

One of my favourite poets died a few years ago, in 2007. Her name was Maude Meehan. She was an amazing woman, as well as a heckuva poet. She was a worker for social justice from way back: worker’s rights, women’s rights, gay rights… The rights of people everywhere, in all walks of life. Her work has had a huge impact on my own. I hope more people go find her poetry — it’s a pleasure to read.
Here’s my favourite:
Is There Life After Feminism (or how to wear boots and still be politically incorrect)

I like to wear boots.

I like the noise they make.
I walk real uppity in boots.
I walk strong.
If pressed
I can land a punch, a kick,
demolish a rapist,
and if I want to
I can go to bed in boots.

I cook without Tofu or eggplant
and I hate alfalfa sprouts. Call it heresy.
I hug my husband, my sons,
and send my daughter radical feminist literature.
I hug her too.  I hug my gay friends,
and don’t apologize for being straight.
I hug my friends of color
and won’t apologize for being white.
How can we stand up together
if we’re putting each other down?

I am a senior citizen.
There are advantages.
I get ten percent off on pancakes at Golden Wist
and a dollar off at the Nickelodeon.
Sometimes I wear lipstick, mascara
and don’t ask anyone’s pardon.
I wear a dress when I visit my mother.
She’s ninety-six, I’m sixty-five.
Spare me your arguments.  Where is it written
that any one of us has all the right answers
for anyone else?

I am a good citizen.
There are disadvantages.
I write to presidents and politicians
and they do what they want anyway.
I go to marches, to meetings, to jail,
and I have a file in Washington in my very own name
which I refuse to send for.
I know who I am.
Even when I do dishes, mind kids or wear high heels
I know who I am.
But what I like about wearing boots is,
there’s no confusion.
Everyone knows who I am.  Watch out!

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