BellaOnline Literary Review
Eagle Landing by Albert Rollins


Pretty Women In A Big Canoe

Phibby Venable

Pretty women in the big canoe
row, pull, steady their hard hands.
They search the moon that swings
in flashes in a circle of swift oars.
They find land and move
in nimble ant hill motions
to flatten the stern grass
It springs hardily into their bank beds.
They have been abandoned by men
for a monthly flow
that could bring bad luck on the venison,
or weakness on the camp store of food.
They are forbidden from the men
and naked in the comfort of solitude.
It is a cleansing time and the women
sing, sleep, drink, open
their legs in a sprawl of sleep and peace.
It is that moment monthly
when they hide their pleasure & practice
foolish faces at the tiresome work
they have left for the old women
and for the men that believe
in the insanity of this separation.
They know the reality of fertility and seed.
They know nothing is accomplished
unless women bleed.

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