The Queen of My Self

by Karen Ethelsdattar

The first time I married
I took my husband’s name for mine
& added Mrs.
I pulled it over my ears,
a woolen cap,
even when it scratched in warm weather.
I was his falcon, hooded.
I was his pigeon, banded.
I sank into his name like a feather bed
& neglected to rise in the morning.
I crept under his wing
like a fledgling
too small to spread its own feathers.

Now I add your name to mine,
proud & frightened.
This time I keep my own,
I surrender nothing.
Still this act
reminds me of captivity–
sweet & dangerous.
Forgive me when I grow fierce
& understand
when I seek wild mountain meadows.

(Published in anthology If I Had My Life to Live Over I’d Pick More Daisies, Papier Mache Press, c1992)


* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus