How to Love a Woman by Kate Wallace Rogers

Listen to her heart,
loud as a hummingbird engine
or the rattle of a snake on your threshold.
Bring her frequent bouquets of all petals,
shapes and colors. Write her love
notes in hopscotch chalk on the sidewalk.

Collect everyday treasures:
shells, feathers and skipping
stones for her, so she will look out
further into the sparkle and glaredash
of fins, whiskers, breathsplash, whole pinnipeds
she never thought she’d see. Love

her beech tree that lays out
a gorgeous blanket of dappleshade for picnics
you eat with chopsticks, so it lasts longer and that’s the way
she likes it. As you celebrate her birthday
suit, her mesmerizing texture,
soothe her with sun-drenched stones.

Sing her songs
you remember your mother sang, drifting
in moonlight, stars landing on temples
and scars. At dawn, make blueberry pancakes
together savoring her creation,
every luscious, sticky, syrupsweet bite.

As Saturday slips past noon,
and there’s still more love to be made, tender
her, breathing in her rhythm, and rhyme with her every
swoon, reflecting upside down
on the indecipherable plush of birdsong
strung along the tanglevines stretching out beyond you.

About the Poet:

Kate Wallace Rogers has been writing and performing poetry since second grade. With some friends in Dennis, Mass., she co-founded the Dragonfly poetry and music series. She has had work published in The Beaver and Red Weather. She self-published a slim volume of poetry silk-screened on Japanese folding paper. More recently, she has been a frequent participant and feature at the Mews coffeehouse and AMP gallery in Provincetown. Kate’s poetry weaves together her love of language, nature, and women. She is originally from New York City, but currently lives in Provincetown in Stanley Kunitz’s house. She loves swimming in the ocean year round.

My Mother’s Instructions for How to Prepare for a Last Phone Call with a Dying Ex-Husband, by Tom Daley

Find an uncomfortable chair.
There are old letters from a bomber pilot in the South Pacific. Discard them.
Do not conjure the lemony rot in the collar of his pajama top.
Find the ear syringe behind the ice cap in the medicine cabinet.
Give up vindictive nightmares for Lent.
Try on the dead dog’s collar that hangs on a nail in the basement.
Pull all the brown leaves off the geraniums.
Apply hot compresses of clam broth to your forehead.
Research the pain indices for bone cancer generated by malignant tumors in the prostate.
Invite the children over to watch home movies, and when they arrive, take a long trip in the car.
Inquire about the current rates at the motel where you checked in the afternoon you found
the tacky, sequined lady’s cigarette case on the passenger side of the front seat of the Falcon station wagon.
Search scrap metal junkyards for the cast iron skillet you threw at him on Mother’s Day,
and missed.
Turn over the mattress.

-Tom Daley
from House You Cannot Reach: Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, FutureCycle Press, 2015. Reprinted with permission of the poet.

Abortion Spell, by Annie Finch

Let’s keep the world through its own balanced kiss,
the kiss come from women made of our own blood,
the holder, the cooler (redeeming the earth,
shaping the room where we give you your birth).
Hands born of woman will not stop this flood,
this generous, selfish, long-opening gift

— Annie Finch

from Spells: New and Selected Poems. Wesleyan University Press, 2013. Reprinted with permission of the poet.