Around the middle of the semester I was inspired to write this poem. I was in a very “Suck it Walt!” mood.
*Title stolen from inspired by Dr. Scanlon
My Womanly Whitman
You say you speak for the masses,
that your words bodies for our bright souls
but my body is crude at your hands, unskilled
in curves and perfection.
You say you contain multitudes, but you can barely envision me.
You did not know, but I have contained multitudes as well.
I was there in your masculine rough hewn hills, rolling
mountain lines, painted into red sand deserts and sculpted
into warm stucco walls, in damp depths of canyons
that descend beyond the limit of your thoughts.
And yet, I have seen you only in broken mausoleums,
carved in granite and steel, rotted in petrified logs
invaded by time.
You think you have built this America without
me, and invited me back to admire your craftsmanship
and sew its garments, but I am not a visitor,
or a servant, or a nurse who longs to be buried with her soldiers.
I am not born out of your cracked skull, made whole only
when you exalt the beauty of my sons.
You, who do not believe in the god stuff, should have known
that I came before you.
But you, slouching, cocked brim, good grey wise uncle Walt,
I can’t revere you, I
can’t believe you, you
who have never known me under your fingers in the night, you
who have only known me through idle conversations
with your married projected lovers.