Rose Maria Woodson

Do not marry 
a man who worships the narrow god. 
There is no ice cream in his soul. 
No strawberries in his heart. 
He cannot swim 
in the sea of ampersand. 
At night, when you turn 
to the wall,  seeking 
the asylum of dreams, 
he will chisel either or 
into your spine & 
one day 
there will be no sweet 
bay mare grazing, 
there will be no sleeping 
tabby  on the window sill, 
there will be no great 
friends who whim in all 
because you leapt from the cliff of changing 
him, of bringing the gift of light into 
his skinny dark orbit. 
You will find yourself shattered, 
scattered in small holes of silence, 
a hungry mouse of a woman 
discovering too late 
there was never a wraparound  
porch inside of him as  
you thread your  heavy 
days  through the eye of a needle.

Author’s Commentary: I was inspired to write "Dear Sister" while watching a discussion on a political talk show.  It was during the aftermath of a flood, and  a member of the panel stated emphatically that he wouldn't rescue cats or dogs. It wasn't just what he said but the way he said it, giving the impression that even if he had room, he'd leave the pets behind. And I thought, this man worships a narrow god.

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Rose Maria Woodson holds an MA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and an MA in Community Development from North Park University. Her poems have been published in numerous journals including Clarion, Gravel, Wicked Alice, OVS Magazine, Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Socially Engaged Literature, Volume II,  Jet Fuel Review, Stirring, Scape Goat Review and Mojave River Review