I have stood by the sandlot/ and watched the boys play –Sharon Olds
No, I won’t bow down to
your literary manhood. I won’t place my lips
around your millennial pride and blow.
I have never had the luxury of being given a place,
I’ve had to carve this ledge out of marble.
Working stone to survive has interfered
with my scholarship. When women place an “I” in a poem,
I see Harold Bloom’s sneer from here in the
heartland of Michigan,
when I say the placentas of both of my children were
large and firm, I feel the collective male shudder.
I am so tired of being told what
my eyes see isn’t real.
That what I value is tarnished.
That the years I’ve spent rearing my children have
been at the expense of my career.
Spare me your verbal sudoku.
You have your syllabic machinations. And
I have a samurai’s heart.
Telaina Eriksen’s writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in The Good Men Project, Under the Sun, ARS Medica, Role/Reboot, Fem2.0, The Feminist Press’ Under the Microscope, The Truth About the Fact, poemmemoirstory, Mother is a Verb (poetry anthology), and in other online and print publications. She teaches creative writing at Michigan State University and holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles.