Four Women in Front of Sod HouseŚlate 1800s
Rita Quillen

Like proper ladies the three sisters draw our eyes
To their tiny waists, cinched and corseted.
They will ride back to town
Where rooms have windows
And boxes for their hats and jewelry,
Where tea steeps in pink-flowered china,
But Mabel with her slattern’s belly
Will stay out here alone
Where wind doesn’t condemn
Clouds can’t scold.
Her baby will smile up at sun not scorn
Out here where a man’s last name
Carries no weight,
Where rich women’s pity
Won’t even dampen the dust.


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