Poem – Godgifu

(Image credit: John Collier)

Before her children’s birth she called herself a mother
of offspring not her own.
They spoke her name in voices hushed, smiling
recalling sunshine hair and lily scent
(and sturdy arms in sleeves of silk
for carrying bread in bushels.)
In pious wedlock she lied
about the flour that stained her dress.
To teach her place he had decreed:
her pride for loaves and gruel.
Serene still she swept away
with burning witch-like glee.
Oh Hippolyta fierce, oh Boudica brave
It’s common knowledge that women bare
on horses win the bloodiest wars
with only the fire in their eyes.


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