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Sunday, May 12, 2013

WOMEN'S RITES

by Tricia Knoll



Image: A Mama’s Day E-card available from Strong Families


The crossword puzzle clue for 2 down
required a word for women’s rites leader.
I couldn’t parse any cross-current lines.
I combed through suffragettes and freedom fighters.
Sojourner, Amelia, Victoria, Abigail, Elizabeth and
tried to cram their names in. Margaret Sanger? Shacklers
to the White House gates? Rosa? Jane Roe?

Then I read it right -- rites.
The woman priest, absolver of wrongs?
Desolver of woes? Healer of hurts? 
End-of-days angel? Candlemaker?
Coiler of the womb cord? Doula?
She-who-washes-the-dead?

Nothing fit.
     Peacemaker
     Apple plucker
     Palm reader
     Stonemason
     Bread baker
     Bee tender
     Bed maker
     Caretaker
     Crone
     Godmother
     Goddess
     Sorceress
     Star eater

The answer in the next day’s paper: mother.



Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet and a proud mother.