Nancy: In my world of the ‘30s and ‘40s, I heard “girls don’t,” “girls can’t,” and “we don’t take girls.” Over and over I turned to Madame Curie, a girl who could and did.
16 And Never Bn Kssd
Thank God for Madame Curie,
my best friend in the years
when I could neither Talk To Boys
nor continue as Mowgli to their wolf pack.
Neither of us went to pajama parties,
or mastered pin curls, or eye shadow,
and although we never spoke
across the mounds of books,
she smiled and shook my hand
when I stood up and opened the door
and set out alone,
determined to discover new lands.
Sometimes it was a vaccine,
a city unearthed,
inscriptions read –
I smiled back at Madame Curie
and walked out of the library
into the sun.
Alan: A recent blog post by Christine Nielsen got me thinking, why is it that (some) men still just don’t get it? Then I remembered a story a friend of ours told us about her young grandkids, and this poem tumbled out.
“I have a hoo-hoo and you don’t!” she teases
her little brother, pointing to the folds
between her legs. Ah Freud,
where is that envy now? Her mysteries
so out-rank his all-too-obvious wee appliqué
he feels ashamed.
What is the use of writing in the snow,
watering the tree trunk,
when she can boast such clean superiority,
such a tidy origami of parts?
She laughs and points again,
and in that moment we know
the Big Bang was not a male experience
and at the center of every maelstrom galaxylives a concupiscent hole.