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 @annwallacephd.com.