“My Mother Comes Home Crying from GE” by Ann Clark

Ann Clark

MY MOTHER COMES HOME CRYING FROM GE

My father, who works swing shift
and makes Campbell’s Tomato Soup
and grilled cheese for me every day
when I get home from kindergarten,
asks what’s wrong hon, what’s wrong,
why are you back early, are you sick,
but she is still going oh, oh, oh, out
loud like me or my brother when we cry,
as if she has skinned her knees,
and I sit at the white and silver
kitchen table and swing my legs
and wait for soup, and she says
he took my idea, he took it and said
it was his after he promised to present
it to engineering, he didn’t give me credit;
they gave him a thousand shares
in the company and when I told him
he stole my idea, he just smiled
and said sure I did, how are you
going to prove it you little, oh, oh,
and her knees are hurt again so
she can’t say the words, and smoke
is choking the kitchen because
my grilled cheese is burned
so I know my soup will have
a thick, dark skin like a scab.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets

__________

Ann Clark: “At 52, I’m astonished that many young women assume the battle for equal rights is over and has been won. The disinterest in the erosion of women’s right to choose angers and terrifies me, and as an English professor, I see young people persisting in anti-feminist attitudes not because of ill-will but because of socialization through mass media. Bright men and women will claim, ‘Everyone knows that women are naturally more nurturing’ (more emotional, less logical, worse at math, bad drivers, indecisive, less intelligent), and as long as these myths deprive women socially and economically, I will be a feminist and a feminist poet. I write about women’s lives, their work, their losses, their victories. Because I was born and raised in the working class and in an extremely rural area, my writing reflects women’s ties to the land. I value history and artifact and try to hear and see those women who worked and died here as people, not victims.” (website)