English-Language Poetry

I remember reading this in AP English, back when I was chasing boys and had no inkling that I'd be marrying a woman. I do remember one of the students in class reacting poorly to the poem. After a pause, she exclaimed, "Gross!" And then my favourite high school teacher put her in her place for being so close-minded. The poem came to mind again when Ptichka was contemplating doing something artsy about coming out a couple of years ago.

In the Counselor's Waiting Room

The terra cotta girl
with the big flat farm feet
traces furrows in the rug
with her toes,
reads an existentialist paperback
from psychology class,
finds no ease there
from the guilt of loving
the quiet girl down the hall.
Their home soil has seen to this visit,
their Baptist mothers,
who weep for the waste of sturdy hips
ripe for grandchildren.

Bettie Sellers 1981


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