Thursday, May 05, 2022


by Ann E. Wallace

My daughters and I live in a leaky 
old house. The three of us have 
learned how to handle a plumbing 
emergency, to spring into action, 
sop up the mess, cut the water lines,
track the source, mend the seams.
This is what women do.
We live in bodies that bleed,
are vulnerable, that give life 
but also betray, and we have 
passed down the fortitude 
to handle leaks and other messes. 
There is wisdom in our living, 
and we know how to act 
when a leak is sprung, exposing 
the ill intentions of those 
who do not live in our bodies, 
those who spout 
outrage at the egregious 
betrayal—as if they know 
what betrayal is—of being 
caught with the pipe cutters 
in their bloody hands.
As they sputter and point fingers, 
we—the women—are gathering 
our tools, our rage, and our ballots, 
like we have so many times before, 
ready to fight for our freedom.

Ann E. Wallace is a poet and essayist from Jersey City, New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @annwlace409 or on Instagram