Song for the Women Poets

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after A.E. Stallings

Where do you go from here,
eyes wet as the weather,
kid slippers coming unstitched
as puddles eat at the leather,

soles scraped by stepping stones,
scalp sore from brushing;
where do you go from here,
limp-limbed and flushing?

Having left the raveled stockings
tied to the darning egg,
having left the hopsack apron
sagging on its peg,

having left the mixing bowl
loaded with rising dough
and the flour spilled in a farewell note
on the counter, where do you go,

your felted dress like blotting cloth,
your hair blacked by ink,
your dishes with their painted lace
congealing in the sink?

No one will take you in without
a bucket, soap and mop,
and you know you need the cobbler
but you can’t find his shop.