Some women fall apart, like old barns.
They go grey, they bend, and then
over they go
in a little cloud of dust,
annoying the poultry, who scatter.
Millicent Jarr wasn't like that.
What she did, my googly-eyed friends,
was to take stock.
Doesn't a human being deserve at least the dignity one gives
to a row of preserves in a cellar?
She set her feet on the path to another life.
She stacked her limbs in the back of a tiny flatbed,
as a logger might.
Her neighbors clucked.
She gave them the finger.
She rolled her heart in meat tenderizer,
and hung her spleen in the smokehouse.
As she cooked,
her hands got into everything,
and her fingers she laid aside because
Goddess knows where they'd been.
Millicent Jarr played cage-the-bluebird with her ribs,
and the thing sang like it had lived forty years on the Delta.
Pleased, she released it
after giving it her eyes as earrings.
The things she saw, from then on!
Her teeth she turned loose--
they had always smiled only when they felt like it anyway;
and her tongue she tossed into the fire.
After that, men resented her, each hoping to catch her alone
in order to show her the error of her ways.
Women clipped her burning tongue to their ears,
then, blushing, locked their bedroom doors and stayed in there for hours.
Millicent Jarr does what she wants.
She's not the barn, but the animals that left it
to turn feral once again.
If you men go out onto the plains to catch her,
She will see you first, and start running,
hell for hopscotch
and out there on the flat lands,
you will still see her happy ass on Friday,
but too far ahead of you