Susan UttingSusan Utting 


Half the Human Race

Say we have tiny, dainty feet that fit,
that tiptoe over broken glass or gravel paths
or decorated egg-shells. Say our ankles are
well-turned, our heels are weapon-sharp.
Say our knees are shocking. Say

our nature's pairing, braising, managing
small things. Say we slapped our clothes
on river stones, we mangled, bleached
and starched, breathed steam and saved
the ends of soap against the shortages. Say

we're sweethearts, dolls with waists and hips
that cannot hold our vital organs, say we're
posable, blow-up generous, bonny, plus-size.
Say nice arse, a lovely pair. Say skin like silk,
like leather; say damaged by the sun. Then say

we're clavicle and fingernail, elbow, nape
and lobe. Say we're tearful. Say we're all
of this and none of it and more, and this
is nothing like the end of it. Say.

from "New Poems" section of Half the Human Race (Two Rivers Press 2017)

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