Captured Women

And in that house there was a room
That was hung with many drawings
Of women with their mouths tight
Shut, lips making a point:
‘Why do you stand in front of us?
Why stand there? Why not go?’
 
One dipped her curls forward
Thoughtfully: ‘Why don’t you hang?
When will you go?’ Their hair serious
Expansion of each, upwards, sideways,
A boundary against the questions:
‘Why are we on the brink of you?’
 
The pencil asked what hair weighs
And drew it to cover the tucked-away
Technology of ear. Listen.
The captured women ask: ‘Why
Do we hang in front of you?
Why hang here? Why don’t we go?’
The jib of them, their hissing sound
Like woodpeckers or worried finches
Considering a swing at the seeds
Before flight from the sparrowhawk:
‘Why do we hang here while you stand?
Why don’t we go? Why don’t we go?’

from Mollicle (Nine Arches, 2010), © Claire Crowther 2010, used by permission of the author

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Claire Crowther

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1Captured Women

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2Wyvern

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3Investigating the Easter Issue

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4Lost Child

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5City of Turns

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6Petra Genetrix

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7Woman, Probably One of the Fates

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8Backpacker

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9Ubi Sunt

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10Names

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11Once Troublesome

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12The Thike

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13Sleeping on a Trampoline

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14The Wildlife of Goodbye

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15Xylotheque

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16A Curse on Your Moider

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17Birthday

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18Snail

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19The Alices

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20Vial As I Am, Tremella Nostoc, Over is Almost All of Lover

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23Alcyone

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24Against the Evidence

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25The Night of Misrule

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26Cheval de Frise

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Books by Claire Crowther