A compendium of poems celebrating the wisdom and experience inherent in living a full lifetime of laughter and learning with a lick of license (poetic and otherwise). I hereby reclaim this word and declare it to mean: a free woman, unencumbered by the opinions of other and the stricture of tradition or worn out customs. One who can be counted on to have devised, through trial and error, a strong internal ethic. One who can be trusted to say what she means and mean what she says.
You Can Tell a Crone by Her Cackle
You can tell a crone by her cackle –
ranging registers of absurdity
wheezing through ancient lungs
past withered lips.
Arms crossed, knees splayed
she rock, rock, rocks
to the rhythm of glee.
You can tell a crone by her crackle –
knees, neck, elbows popping cartilage
beneath thin soft skin. Don’t
let wrinkles fool you. Bent
but unbroken, she
knows elemental secrets:
Earth, Air, Water, Fire
This old one, this elder, this woman of wisdom
practical, Quixotic, paradoxical, quickened
runs, soars, swims, burns
with them all.
They fill her with story.
She is the wellspring
When you hear her cackle, turn her way
ears pricked, tail awag; poised
on the verge of tears, on the lip
of laughter, eager to attend,
ready to receive.
©2014 Christine Irving