All Women Are Mothers

linda and stafford 1990 crop sonnet

To all the women who helped to raise me
My crazy mother: her sainted patience
The ones whom I dated with vanity
& Linda who tamed me with diligence

The mothers of my friends who understood
That I had to circle the selfish drain
Before becoming the man that I would
I had to inflict & suffer some pain

“Little girls,” pretty young women taught me
(Perhaps my daughters most surprisingly)
How to treat women with less calumny
Which men macho taught me misleadingly

All men are made completely of women
& their suppression is an ill omen

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