I’ve been taking it like a man since I was four
when the nurse stuck the booster in my arm
and I never said a word.
My father was so proud he told everyone. . .
“She never cried.”
I’ve been taking it like a man every time I meet
a stranger and talk all one way at them about
the power thoughts I know.
I’ve been taking them like a man
when all along
I ache to sit awhile in my rocker on the porch
snapping beans, my eyes fixed on the horizon
waiting for the news my boys are dead
letting in the knowledge my heart knew all along
letting my moan swell into a wail
the wind might carry to the earth’s end
so each woman might stop a moment, tilting an ear,
catching the whisper echoing inside,
her own tears of taking it.