Three Women Warrior Poems by Brynn Saito

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WHAT’LL IT BE

Woman Warrior walks into a bar / sits down / says

You’re welcome / says Hard rock / says So what

I know De la Soul is Dead / Woman Warrior orders whiskey

sans ice / says Want to watch me drink it / says

Down it I will in one to six seconds / with no one watching /

From the forests crossing the rocks / above Woman Warrior’s

home town / sixteen hundred / men strapped with guns /

took the territory in one to six and rested / on the seventh /

She knew God liked rituals done in his stead

and so it was good / Tethered as always to moonlight /

the high kind / Woman Warrior fled the burnt town /

arrived in the metropolis / found love / lost it / lost it again /

Now in the bar / bracing herself / for the eye-full onslaught

of broken lovers / Woman Warrior waits /

her head draped over her neck / her neck pouring

down her back / her back like a poised metal sword

 

 

HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH

Woman Warrior knows when the wrong thing

is spilling from her mouth / like a bowl-full of wet

dead leaves / or lies on the underside of a rusted

red wagon / She sees herself sometimes

talking with strangers in bars and boardrooms

and back rooms of bars / saying / I feel okay / do you

feel okay / now that I feel okay / and have said so?

Last year this time Woman Warrior took a plane /

to a winter mountain / where monks with swords /

sliced through falling snow / This / she thought /

is the meaning of clarity / This is the way

to stop spilling mottled leaves / on everyone I love

 

 

INTERGENERATIONAL

Woman Warrior is thinking about justice / The moon out

and climbing the sky / reminding her of the slow light

of progress / One hundred years later / and still

she is standing / descended from the dark / river of women /

women loving men / men loving bottled love / love

like a cradle of needles / mending / mending / mending

 


Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award. She co-authored Bright Power, Dark Peace, a chapbook of poetry from Diode Editions (2013). Her second book of poems will be published in spring, 2016.