The Poetry of Marsha Rogers


© 2000 Marsha Rogers



"Hypocrite women, how seldom we speak of our own doubts
while dubiously we mother man in his doubts."
---Denise Levertov

central valley summer afternoons before the luxury of air conditioning
were the times mothers and daughters called truces laid
on sheets in living rooms under impotent coolers and fans
it was too hot to continue arguments
too dangerous to venture outside too young not old enough
it became a time
of passing on the lore secrets of womanhood
what the daughters knew of sex the mothers would never know
and the mothers did their duty and talked of reproduction pain birth
"If I had to do it over again -- I wouldn't"
the girls knew how much they were loved


she called us "hypocrite women"
an image of what others think she is the sterile being
denied the smoky scent of her own womanhood she grew
from childhood to childhood trained from earliest
days to endure become the handmaiden of political expediency
duped into belief sex without matrimony placed the soul in mortal peril
financial independence a cat dinner alone were failure
only the hypocrisy of sisters
enforced such fantasies of men for she who breaks the patterns
and claims what is hers is ostracized by the liberal-
speaking women who lie in their sterile beds beside their sterile men claim
a usurer's share of a husband's increase idly pet the dog dine
alone five nights a week


in the middle of a contracting world she withdraws
even more they all say "I love you"
but she knows when dark comes she will be
alone in silence with fears
the impenetrable wall has been breeched she remembers
what it had been like
to love belong to someone
she will never go back
could never
she tests the aloneness a need to call upon herself she knows no one
will stand beside her
it will always be this way she sees her own mortality
has no time for people she does not love or the reluctant

© 2000 Marsha Rogers


the aqueduct
irrigates change
half a thousand
miles away
as it steals waters
of northern deserts --
lakes of ancient origin
and wetlands
of traditional flyways
are abandoned
left with no option
but death

© 2000 Marsha Rogers


Tom was too tame--
also too afraid.
He kept me on that pedestal
for dears. Damn, I hate
ruffles and lace and curls.
Pinks and peaches
are such insipid colors
and that's what he wanted
me to wear to all those dull
Sunday socials. Never
will he leave that one-horse town.
I may have made mistakes
or some unwise choices,
but -- unlike Tom -- I will never
look at hell and think it paradise.

I remain in your bed
long after you leave.
Your scent remains
and I wish
to take it with me.
I want to take all
about this place
with me --
the sounds,
the sights --
but mostly
the trust
you taught me.
You earned
what none
other has. That,
more than anything,
I will take.

All poems © 2000 Marsha Rogers. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or distribute without the expressed written consent of the author. Poems used here are reprinted by permission of the author, Marsha Rogers.
Marsha Rogers is a published poet whose most recent publications include:
Pegasus 90 Poets for the 90's (May, 1999)
High Desert Review, I,II, III, IV (1996-1999) Parchment Symbols (Aug, 1999)
Editor, High Desert Review III (1998) Blood Moon Zine (Aug, 1999)
Warrior Poets (1999) Poetry Motel (accepted)
Halcyon (1999, University of Nevada Press) Drive, She Said (accepted)
Remembrance There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays (Papier Mache Press, 1998)
Fagan: A Fantasy Pagan Magazine (1999, Issue 2) Rising to the Dawn: A Rape SurvivorŐs Journey into Healing, 1998, LittleTreasure Publications
The Poetry of Marsha Rogers can be found at:
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