Women
hard at work
sweating in kitchens
wielding their sharp knives over
carcasses, carving meat
from sinew and
bone

Women
dragging pain
throughout the days
scrubbing stain-streaked cloths
watching blood soak
into earth and
vanish

Women
loud in labor
knuckles whitened
teeth bared, fists clenched
roaring babies out
into the wild
world

Women
driving tent-
pegs into the skulls
of their enemies, speaking
prophesies, waving
the banners of
war

Women
not asking nicely
nor expecting invitation
to the table of men anymore
but arriving with swords
and arrayed for
battle