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Tuesday, March 14, 2023


by Margaret D. Stetz

…for the “Best Adapted
goes to the women of
my generation
we make up most
of the Academy
and won
though no one else would
vote for us
but learned at last
to write our own names
on the ballot
then turn up with a speech
for the acceptance
that we’ve never felt
of course the host
has withering jokes 
at our expense
but we don’t
slap him
we’ve always swallowed more
at work at home in bed
than pride
when all our names 
are called
we will not miss 
this moment
although our bladders fill like
Thanksgiving Day Parade
the trailing hems of gowns
catch heels and trip us
on the way to reach
the stage
where music has already 
played us off before
we even speak
the microphones the cameras
shutting down
we shout our thanks
for one another’s 
help and strength
into the emptying auditorium.
Our afterparty invitations
are for a future day
we don’t know when
but meanwhile
just stand
and keep our grip on something

Margaret D. Stetz, a lifelong feminist and a poet, is the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware.