Workworn

Across the street, an humble woman lives;
To her 'tis little fortune ever gives;
Denied the wines of life, it puzzles me
To know how she can laugh so cheerily.
This morn I listened to her softly sing,
And, marvelling what this effect could bring
I looked: 'twas but the presence of a child
Who passed her gate, and looking in, had smiled.
But self-encrusted, I had failed to see
The child had also looked and laughed to me.
My lowly neighbour thought the smile God-sent,

Working Girls

The working girls in the morning are going to work--
long lines of them afoot amid the downtown stores
and factories, thousands with little brick-shaped
lunches wrapped in newspapers under their arms.
Each morning as I move through this river of young-
woman life I feel a wonder about where it is all
going, so many with a peach bloom of young years
on them and laughter of red lips and memories in
their eyes of dances the night before and plays and
walks.

Woolworth's

for Greg Fallon

A kid yells "Mother Fucker" out the school bus window.
I don't think anyone notices the afternoon clouds turning pink along the horizon,
sunlight dripping down the stone facades,
the ancient names of old stores fading like the last century
above the street, above the Spandex women who adjust their prize buttocks,
sweating in the sun as I wonder how this city that has no more memory of itself
than a river has of rain, survives.

Is it just a matter of time, or that peasant woman

won't you celebrate with me

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Women's Suffrage

Fellow men! why should the lords try to despise
And prohibit women from having the benefit of the parliamentary Franchise?
When they pay the same taxes as you and me,
I consider they ought to have the same liberty.

And I consider if they are not allowed the same liberty,
From taxation every one of them should be set free;
And if they are not, it is really very unfair,
And an act of injustice I most solemnly declare.

Women, farmers, have no protection as the law now stands;

Women's song of the corn

How beautiful are the corn rows,
Stretching to the morning sun,
Stretching to the evening sun.
Very beautiful, the long rows of corn.

How beautiful is the white corn,
I husk it,
I grind it.
Very beautiful, my white corn.

How beautiful is the red corn,
I gather it and make fine meal,
I am glad doing this.
Very beautiful, my red corn.

How beautiful is the black corn,
I give it to my father,
To my mother,
I give it to my child.
Very beautiful, the black corn.

Women's Rights

You cannot rob us of the rights we cherish,
Nor turn our thoughts away
From the bright picture of a "Woman's Mission"
Our hearts portray.

We claim to dwell, in quiet and seclusion,
Beneath the household roof,--
From the great world's harsh strife, and jarring voices,
To stand aloof;--

Not in a dreamy and inane abstraction
To sleep our life away,
But, gathering up the brightness of home sunshine,
To deck our way.

As humble plants by country hedgerows growing,
That treasure up the rain,

Women's harvest song

I am waving a ripe sunflower,
I am scattering sunflower pollen to the four world-quarters.
I am joyful because of my melons,
I am joyful because of my beans,
I am joyful because of my squashes.

The sunflower waves.
So did the corn wave
When the wind blew against it,
So did my white corn bend
When the red lightning descended upon it,
It trembled as the sunflower
When the rain beat down its leaves.

Great is a ripe sunflower,
And great was the sun above my corn-fields.

Women

Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
To eat dusty bread.

They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass,
They do not hear
Snow water going down under culverts
Shallow and clear.

They wait, when they should turn to journeys,
They stiffen, when they should bend.
They use against themselves that benevolence
To which no man is friend.

They cannot think of so many crops to a field

Woman's Trifling Needs

AN inventory clear of all she needs Lamira offers here; Nor does she fear a rigid Cato's frown When she lays by the rich embroidered gown, And modestly compounds for just enough- Perhaps, some dozens of more flighty stuff; With lawns and lustrings, blond, and Mechlin laces, Fringes and jewels, fans and tweezer-cases; memory Gay cloaks, and hats of every shape and size, Scarfs, cardinals, and ribbons of all dyes; With ruffles stamped, and aprons of tambour, Tippets and handkerchiefs, at least three score; With finest muslins that fair India boasts, And the choice herbage from Chinesan coasts

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