Andrea Potos

 

 

AT THE MALL CINEPLEX

 

Herded into the narrow aisles,

I can’t help thinking of the Fox-Bay theater

on long Saturday afternoons;

the high school kids in burgundy blazers

ushering us into the hushed generous darkness

smelling of spilled popcorn

and thrumming with the promise

of a double feature, permission

to empty our boxes of Milk Duds

and JuJu Bees, our Good ‘n Plenty

and tall cups of Hi-C,

the dark velvet drapery rolling open,

maneuvered by careful, invisible hands,

while far away on the walls-- the relief sculptures

of gnarled, windswept trees,

cliffs where a heroine might perch

awaiting her story.

 

CHARLOTTE BRONTË, STUDENT

Roe Head School, 1831

 

When I arrived, they eyed me queerly,

these daughters of wealthy locals.

Oh, I could not blame them-- me with

spectacles and old woman’s dress,

unmistakable tinge of Irish on my tongue.

 

I offered them poetry, my zeal

for drawing, those subjects most females

are not given to learn:

geography, history, grammar,

French verbs;

such copious, joyful copying

of classical heads and hands!

 

Papa says I must meet my future armed.

I memorize Mangall’s Historical

and Miscellaneous Questions, for it is the latter

that calls to me--

what we are not given to know,

what cannot be reduced--

woman’s mind

bursting the bounds of breads and puddings,

of embroidering collars and bags.

 

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Women's Review of Books

 
Antiquity Oxford University Press
Women Who Fly Oxford University Press
Arbor Farm Press
Sara Ahmed Womens Review of Books Duke University Press
WRB Nov2016_Jan2017
WRB Jan 2017 genders
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