INDEX of POEMS BY PERIE LONGO

"What Do Women Want?"

Dr. Sigmund Freud, from his diary

we want to be rain and thunder

want our voices to summon

sustenance from our battered earth

we want to be heard in the sheaves of wheat

the rustle of scarves

 

want to fling a stone of hope in the still pond,

watch ripples pulse across the great divide

 

want to step from behind war’s shadow

want to be sun, gather and stand

in gardens we’ve planted, firmly rooted,

up to our ears in green, rich in food

that bulges from each mound

and heavy branch

 

as we hack back vines that choke us all

open windows in walls, open doors

through which we freely come and go

and return without dodging snipers

without running away from our lives

 

may we never again give birth to martyrs

flown home without limbs or vision

everywhere women want to be whole together

make stew, simmer all that is true

in the broth of human goodness, invite

 

every man, woman and child to toss in

a favored spice, a wish, a way to rebuild

our fractured world and with tomorrow

in our wombs, we will carry bowls of peace

from hearth to each table, however remote

this is what we want

 

Perie Longo © Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita Written for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Annual Awards Peace Banquet
“Women for Peace,” Nov. 7, 2009

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