Old Wives’ Tales

Old Wives’ Tales

It is said that she spat

into the native’s eye

into the strange brew she

stirred with her stranger tongue

and how I long to taste

that blend of sweat and saliva

 

It is said that she spurned her homeland

burnt the house she grew up in

turned her back on all she knew

and didn’t know

except for the copper kettle

and the milking cow

 

It is said that she sifted

through the embers of her life

drawing her thoughts in charcoal

long after the fire had died

 

I say she did the right thing

I say she knew what she was doing

when they told her to be silent in church

and she stopped attending

she could be silent anywhere

 

And her silence spread

quicker than gossip

across the seven seas

for this silence knew

how she’d refused to be

as mum as nature

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