The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: A LIST POEM

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: A LIST POEM

 


 

I.  Jalalabad, Afghanistan

 

Mursal Waheedi

Saadia Sadat

Shahnaz Raufi

 

Buried in fresh graves

along with their hopes

Journalists without portfolio

 

Peace flags at half staff tonight

 

II.  Mandalay, Myanmar

 

Ma Kyal Sin

a/k/a “Angel”

Age 18

 

At the protest front lines

Garbed in bright red lipstick

her black t-shirt emblazoned

 

“Everything will be all right.”

 

III.  Bangalore, India

 

Disha Ravi

Climate advocate

Age 22

 

Helping farmers on Fridays

turns seditious

toolkits tied to treason

 

Democracy’s promise reviled

 

IV.  Rochester NY

 

Unnamed girl

“Person in crisis”

Age 9

Pepper spray

even in handcuffs

antidote for “family troubles”

 

Cops say “You’re acting like a child”

 

V.  Rochester NY

 

Unnamed woman

with unnamed toddler

Age 3

 

Allegations of shoplifting

More pepper spray

New policy questions

 

‘I didn’t steal nothing” she said tearfully

 

VI. Pentagon, Arlington VA

 

Unnamed women

Service members

Ages varied

 

Sexual assaults

reported – more than 7,800

unreported – 20,000

 

“You’re more likely to be raped by

someone in your uniform as shot by the enemy”

 

VII.  Washington DC

 

Unnamed women

formerly working

Ages varied

 

2.3 million departed

from the workplace in just one year

140,000 in December alone

 

70 cents per male dollar --“Motherhood penalty”

 

VIII.  Yambio, South Sudan

 

Margaret Raman

Single mother of five

Age 38

 

Beans and ground nuts

for sale at Masiya Market

now rotting in noonday sun

 

business stifled by COVID’s legacy

 

IX.  Maiduguri, Nigeria

 

Hundreds of schoolgirls

kidnapped by gunmen

Ages 12-18

 

Bandits in uniforms

barefoot children

education turns life-threatening

 

“Abduction is a growth industry”

 

X.  Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Kansas,

    Wyoming, Tennessee

 

Anxious women

seeking autonomy

Ages unknown

 

Bills passed or pending

legislators emboldened by extreme

agendas and judicial appointments

 

Choices determined by geography

 

 

  

 

 

 

"INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: A LIST POEM"  was published

  March 8, 2021 on the NewVerse News Blog Site

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