Arkansas Became

in Health/U.S. by


I became a woman some time ago when we thought nothing of it, were thought little of, when snide, when put down, when hands.

Which still are.

I became a woman after Kinder, Küche, Kirche and in the midst of barefoot and pregnant.

Which I was.

I became a woman when honey, when bitch, when slut but I became a woman after toots.

Which never fit.

I became a woman when monthly blood was called the curse but was a blessing in a time when coat hangers, scalding baths and horseback riding.

Which were our cures.

I became a woman before Friedan and telling our stories before Time’s Man of the Year was one at the beginning when prone and step back and passed over.

Which are still around.

I became a woman in a time when Legislatures ruled against women, a time that nevertheless masqueraded as a new beginning. I have lived long enough.

To see my state legislate a new yesterday,                              today.



Wendy Taylor Carlisle is the author of three books of poetry and five chapbooks.

Photo by Renata Fraga.


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