Womanthought (1991)

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Lesley UniversityDigitalCommons@LesleyCommonthoughtLesley University Student PublicationsSpring 1991Womanthought (1991)Womanthought StaffFollow this and additional works at: t of the Illustration Commons, Photography Commons, and the Poetry CommonsRecommended CitationWomanthought Staff, "Womanthought (1991)" (1991). Commonthought. /22This Book is brought to you for free and open access by the Lesley University Student Publications at DigitalCommons@Lesley. It has been acceptedfor inclusion in Commonthought by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@Lesley. For more information, please contactdigitalcommons@lesley.edu.

'WOAfYL9{ :Ij-{Q'l1(j j-{(J'Spring 1991·

'TfieAfagazine of tfie5lrts at .Lesley Co[[ege.

'W09vf.9L0.{!J'!J{O'll (j :.!-FT:Magazineof tlie .521.rtsat L'FSL'E'Y COLL'E(j'E'llo{umeII, 'l{p.1Editor-in-ChiefAssistant EditorFiction EditorPoetry EditorArt EditorsSecretaryPublicityTypistStacy SpumbergJen HillAmy TaylorKristen HellerAlissa EisenbergStephanie KraussSuzanne MilesCaryn MayoLisa Risley-AquizapSTAFF MEMBERSBeth CoatesTerri ChagnonPaula TroutKaren GalvinElizabeth CarpLezlie EstabrookColleen DavisFaculty FoolStaff MascotDr. PlutoDarla - the Broadway CowSPECIAL THANKS TO:President Margaret McKennaDean Carol MooreDr. Stephen TrainorUndergraduate Liberal Arts ProgramStudent Government AssociationOffice of Student AffairsJennifer Kilson-PageViews expressed by the contributors are not necessarily the views of theStudent Government Association or the Office of Student Affairs ofLesley College.

1/o{umeII, 9{,um6er1Poetry & Prose . "Epigram"Paula Trout. . . . . .Speech from Senior Investiture - Anne Elezabeth Pluto . . I"L overs " S uzanne p·1nl ayson . . . . 4"Little Red Riding Hood" - Edy Shapiro . . . 6"Dead Ones" - Alexandra Susan Campbell. . .?Generations Anita Landa . . . 8The Fear Within Me -A Real Life Horror Story - Cathy Grace . . 11.13"Iced to Thaw" - Elizabeth Coates ."Life Stages" Jen Hill. . . . . . . 14. . . . .14"Date Rape Revisited" - Kristen Heller ."A Handful of Assorted Pencils" - Melinda W. Green . . . . . . . . . . . 15"Fantasy August 20" - Cheryl Smith . . 17Becky Pickard . . . . . . . 19Untitled"Therapy"Sue Morse . . 20"Love Letters" Carol Bearse . . . . .21"PersonalSymphony"Riz . 22"kilma di dilwati" - Mary Chaves . . . . . . . 24"Silence . " Stephanie Krauss . . . . . 24"Another Chance" - Alissa Eisenberg . . . . . . 24Dear Parents 6:00 Writing Class . . . . . 25Caryn L. Mayo . . . . . . . . . 26"Penetration"The Machi's Farewell - Carlos Suarez-Boulangger . . . . . . . . . 2 7"Ch ains" Eunice Senat. . . . . . . . . 29Bedsprings HeatherJones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32The Dark. Penelope Pritchard . . . . . . 33"Song of My Soul" - Elisa Lucozzi . . . . . . . 35Mapplethorpe Janet Singleman . . . . . 36Jlrt Work,Cover: Mike GalvinInside Cover : Our Mascot & InspirationCaryn L. Mayo . . . . . . . . . 5"Grandma's Tree" "BerkshireAbstract" - Stacy Spumberg . ······· . . . . . . . . . 12"On Devoroe Pond" - Alissa Eisenberg . . . . . . . . 13"F ord Pick-Up - Barn Yard Haven" - Lorraine. s·me l.arr. . ·: . . . . . . . . . . 16"Cafe De Paris - Arlington St., Boston" - Lorraine Sinclair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18" Concession· Stand - Crane Beach , Ipsw1c· h" - Lo rrame· s·me 1arr· . . . . . . . . . 2 3"Church Street" - Caryn L. Mayo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 6"And then We Joined Hands" - Molly Morgan . . . . . . . 30"Momentary Suge of this Resurrection" - Molly Morgan . . . . . . . . 30"B. 1nk y T.1me " - R 1z. . . . . . . . . . . . 31Back Inside Cover : "Good-bye Gander" - Alissa Eisenberg

LETTER FROM THE EDITORSWe sincerely apologize for the delay of this year's edition; your patience has beengreatly appreciated. This issue of 'Womantfwugfit has been a struggle, but wellworth the time and energy for both of us.rWe would like to extend a very special thanks to Anne Pluto, Stephen Trainor,Office of Students Affairs, Student Government Association, Darla, the PlasticAnimals, our thousands of faithful subscribers, and, of course, our humble andmost dedicated staff.We dedicate this issue to all of the very talented artists who have submitted theirPleasework. We are proud to present your pieces: you are 'Womantfiougfit!keep the submissions coming in next year so that we may continue this tradition atLesley College.!'- ,/ /. 'r - ,/ 't { , ·: ; ,··',) - L .'l. /'VStacy SpumbergEditor -in-Chief-··---- --),'f ',( ,r,.,.-·,// .,,/c.,/'/1 !\LltAssistant Editor

Blood coursing with crisp vitalityChilled flesh exhilarated by theintrin sic beauty of Hope .Paula Trout

SPEECH FROM SENIOR INVESTITUREI'm not very good with protocol - so I'mgoing to address all of you here tonight asfriends - especially the members of the seniorclass. I would like to thank you for giving methis opportunity to be your speaker.This speech has been on my mind sinceMay - and I had all sorts of ides that fell intoplace - beautifully and mysteriously - lastweekend. I had laryngitis and spent Friday andSaturday at my boyfriend's apartment reading aremarkable and inspiring book, Octavio Paz'sbiography of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, aseventeenth century Mexican nun. The Mexicannovelist Carlos Fuentes calls her the first greatLatin American poet.veil at the Heronymite Convent of St. Jerorr:ieusing a dowry of 3,000 gold ducats - supphedby her godfather. In Mexico, you neededmoney to enter a convent. She chose holyorders as a vocation and not because she wasvery religious. She was instructed in aking .this choice by her confessor - the Jesmt AntonioNunez de Miranda - who led her to believe thata religious vocation was the way for her to .study secular knowledge and to pursue wntmg.Twenty years later, he would betray her.At that time (the second half of the 17thcentury), the nuns of New Spain never left theconvent; they were cloistered. Yet, wh t SorJuana wrote within the walls of that rehg10ushouse reached a Hispanic world that inclu edLima, Peru and stretched across the AtlanucOcean to the Court of the Spanish King inMadrid . She was well known for her poetry,her plays and her religious verse.Juana Ines de Asbaje (or Juana InesRameriz - she used both her father and mother'snames when it was convenient) wanted to be a"learned woman." As a small child, she wasfascinated by language and literature. Shemakes a reference in one of her letters to havingThis was amazing. Sor Juana began thistaught herself Latin in 20 lessons, and she alsoliterary journey as an illegitimate girl from thecould speak and read Spanish and Portuguese.village of San Miguel Nepantla, was sent a! theIn order to pursue a life as a "learned woman"age of ten to live with rich relations in Mexi oshe wrestled with her soul in choosing aCity, and at 15 was sent by those same relativesvocation. There weren't manyto the Viceroy's palace as a lady in waiti g to thevocations/professions open to women in 17thVicereine. In all of these places her family, hercen ury New Sp n. There was marriage- butrich relations, the palace, Sor Juana was t enot m the romantic sense, the way we in theoutsider; she remained the outsider - even rn he20th century like to picture it; we try to tellconvent - and needed the protection of both eourselves (or at least our children) that peopleChurch and state to carry out her desire of bemgdo marry for love. I'm not going to raise thea writer. She was quite lucky. Protection an?speculation of how many of us actually do patronage lasted twenty years. Sor Juana Inesalthough being somewhat romantic or cynicallyde la Cruz became a "learned woman," aromantic, I'd like to believe love is the mainpowerful woman, and because of her talent, herthrust for marriage - but to return to Sor Juana's knowledge, and her power, she was beatenworld - marriage was a legal and financialdown by the very institution that had offered herarrangement sanctified by God. After marriage, hope - the Catholic Church.there was concubinage, prostitution and theconvent. (Great choices .)In the early 1690's, she lost both her friendsin high places and her confessor, AntonioAt the age of 20 - she was slightly youngerNunez de Miranda who had protected her fromthan most of you - Juana Ines, who wasthe other men of the Church. Sor Juana, tobeautiful, witty, clever, literate, could dance,escape the Inquisitor, surrendered her books,wrote poetry, and had the patronage of theforswore literary pursuits, and signed in bloodViceroy and his wife, the Vicereine, took thethe renunciation of secular knowledge. In1

essence her crime was that of being a "learnedwoman." If she had been a man, her desire forsecular knowledge would have been applauded.thoughts and feelings into language - on paperto share with the teacher, the peers, the outsideworld.She died two hellish years later in 1695 atthe age of 46.Sor Juana had no teachers. In the letter shewrote to her confessor, she explained that herstudies have been extremely private and that shenever engaged the directions of a teacher - andthat she knows to study publicly in schools isnot seemly for a woman's honor. She also saysthat women, like men, have rational souls - andthat they should enjoy the enlightenment ofletters. Finally, she questions why he finds herknowledge so wicked when he praises thelearning of the martyred St. Catherine ofAlexandria. The answer is simple, and SorJuana knew it. St. Catherine was a figure, anideal, a Catholic story. Sor Juana Ines de laCruz was real - flesh and blood and talent, andshe used the Catholic Church to obtain secularlearning.For the past week I have been consumed bythe spirit of Sor Juana, and I have been talkingabout her to everyone close to me - myboyfriend, my roommate, my boss, my classes,and now, to all of you.Reading Octavio Paz's book made me9. estion my own relationship to literature sinceIt 1s one of the most important relationships ofmy life. It is my vocation. I asked - what do Iaccomplish when I come to work? What do I,as a teacher of literature, profess? The answerhas to be more than making sure you, mystudents, understand what Flaubert means whenhe tells us that Emma Bovary's blood "coursedthrough her veins like a river of milk" or thatyou can tell me who wrote:The grave's a fine and privateplace But none I think do thereembrace .or that William Faulkner got the title for SoundFury from Shake-speare's MacBeth:Life 1s a tale, told by an idiot - full of soundand fury - signifying nothing." nt!,t The other conclusion I came to last weekendwas that I would also have joined theHeronymite Convent, had I been faced with thesame choices in pursuing a literary life. Yet,that was not my fate, and having been born inthe 1950's instead of the 1650's, I had otherchoices, as you do. I studied literature becausemy choice to explain a world I do notunderstand was through language, throughwriting. I became a teacher somewhat bychance, perhaps fate. Fortunately, I am wellsuited to my profession, but like Sor Juana, Iknow how lonely it is write. Writing is solitary.But, unlike her, I have had you - my students.And I have had the opportunity to learn fromyou and help you learn over the last three years.You have been my teachers and I have hungeredto see you gain knowledge and am happy toknow that come May - the end of our four yearstogether - you will join Sor Juana and myself inthe company of "learned women."So last weekend, when my voice was gone,and I sat in this very sunny warm room, I hadan piphany. My role as your literature andwntmg professor is to touch your souls - andthe soul is the place where you have memory because what does reading literature or writingP?etry nd/or fiction really do? The reading andd1scuss1on of literature puts us in contact with nother human experience of the world, as toldm verse - or through a narrator's characters. ToI'm going to leave you tonight with herg one step further - and I'm only going to saywords - with a love sonnet more eloquent thanthis - )'.'OU can all leave here tonight and thinkabout 1t - eading or creating literature puts us in mine could ever be. Even though she was anun, she wrote remarkable love poems, full ofcontact with what is dark in ourselves, withcritical speculation.feelings that often have neither voice norlanguage. And to be good readers or critics, weAnne Elezabeth Pluton eed,as Octavio Paz says, "to think and to feel"simultaneously - and then translate those2

Sonnet 164My love, this evening when I spoke with you,And in you face and actions I could readThat arguments of words you would not heed,My heart I longed to open to your view.In this intention, love, my wishes knewAnd, though they seemed impossible, achieved:Pouring in tears that sorrow had conceived,With every beat my heart dissolved anew.Enough of suffering, my love, enough:Let jealousy's vile tyranny be banned,Let no suspicious thought your calm corruptWith foolish gloom by futile doubt enhanced,For now, this afternoon, you saw and touchedMy hear, dissolved and liquid in your hands.Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz3

LOVERS*Gently,love, gently;draw me to your rums and rock meslowly.Softly, love, softly;whisper to me your loving wordsand calm me with your smile.Soft, gentle handsstroke and caress my facesending love through fingers' tips.Lay me downslowlyas I rest in your wrumthand drift off into your being.**Soft words from your handsgentle touches from your lipswarmly secured by your steady gazeknowing,forever,that I once had your love.***Sweet love, gentle oneto whom I owe my life and souldo not forsake thyself for mefor though we love and we are strength,the time will come for us to say good-bye.And with that choice,we shall partwith memories of each other's loveand with a gratefulnessfor having had one anotherfor a finite eternity.Suzanne Finlayson4

5

LITTLE RED RIDING HOODShe followed a pathto grandmother's gravewearing a dress of blood.She carried a basketof wild mushrooms and honeyto thank her dead grandmotherfor the genes.Only when she got halfway therea handsome wolf . smiled at herso, she shyly showed himher fishnet stockings.He glanced at the old lady's gifts .and laughed,for he had a fetishfor licking the honey from the lipsof innocent girls.They skipped along singing some songby the stones.Smoking cigarettes , and the same eyes.Dancing in the chaosof the sun's despair.So, hand in hand, they feltthe forest enchantment and ate the mushroomsas the honey's sugar kissed them both.Until grandmother came alongto find them all folded togetherand with this she said"Granddaughter, what big eyes you have."Well, I am a little surprised to see you."Granddaughter, what a sticky smile you have."Well, the mushrooms were bland."Granddaughter, what a lovely man you have sweetenedthe better to taste his sorrows . "And with this the grandmother smiled .you are my grandchild, we wear the samebright shoes.And in the darkness the grandmotheropened a treeand climbed inside her lovely deathblowing a kiss to her younger reflection.Edy Shapiro6

DEAD ONES!The sounds in my house are only those of two dogs andthe dreaming dead ones.Often I hav imagined voices - the laughter and euphonathat usually dwell in anyone's home.But not mine, mine is silent. Dead like the sleeping ones,and dead like the ones that should be - but aren't here.I'm warm, but the house is cold. The cold comes fromthe wine cellar and rises, touching each mind, heartand body that enters this house.Funny how we ca ll it home, seeing it doesn't resemble one.Each creature crawls throughout the chambers ofthis comparable mausoleum, sneering while smoothlycrossing the floors. The creaks in the plankssimulate the eruptions, the quarrels and thepain that is seething in this place.The dead ones sleep only to wake to another day ofcreeping and crawling through the undergrowth ofirrationality that has gripped their lives. Thedead ones sleep, to dream of escaping fromthe rage that only the subconscious can see.I sit awake, the only sound is that of my loneliness,and the coldness I can feel.Not the dead ones, for they just sleep.Alexandra Susan Campbell7

GENERATIONSOn a clear October afternoon, Sophie and Idrive to the Women's Health Center. Beechtrees stretch over the parking lot of the oldhospital where the health center is housed; theupper stories are now a nursing home. Sophiewas born here on an autumn afternoon twentyyears ago. When she was held up against thelight, I could see her skeleton through thetranslucent skin, square shouldered, sturdy,arms thrown out like a sprinter's at the finishline.We climb the granite steps to the clinicholding hands; at the glass-paneled doors , wepause, each waiting for the other to enter first. Ithink, how radiant she is, like a shaft ofsunlight . Her blond Afro shimmers around herheart-shaped face; her hazel eyes are luminous.I think, we could stand here for fifty years,saying, "After you . no, no, after you."Fifty years from now, Sophie will be an oldwoman and I will be lying in the ceremony atMallets Bay next to my aunt Hannah. Hannahnever had children, so my mother named myafter her. Was Aunt Hannah ever pregnant?Maybe she had an illegitimate baby andsmothered it with a pillow. She might haveburied it under a pine tree in the woods behindher house. The ground is soft under pinen edles; she could easily have dug a little hole,lam the baby down, and covered it with dirt."Come along, Mumsie," Sophie saysfinnly, tugging me into the hospital. It's thesame tug she used when I would stand in thehallway of her day care center talking with theother mothers by the cubby holes after she wasalready bundled up in her skidoo boots anddown jacket.Today Sophie wears a Mao jacket over herT-shirt. When she takes the jacket off, therewill be a message stenciled across her chest:QUESTION AUTHORITY or U.S. OUT OFEL SALVADOR or CHE LIVES. She collectsthese shabby emblems, some of them older thanshe is; they are her history books.In the waiting room, Sophie present herselfat the receptionist's desk while I take a bookletabout early uterine evacuation from the literaturerack and settle myself in one of the unmatchedarm chairs that are placed around a circularcoffee table. Young women sit quietly in thefrayed chairs, turning the pages of PeopleandTime. Two of them wear maternity shirts overtheir jeans; their bright sneakers and runningshoes ring the coffee table like a border of8flowers. I feel awkward in my tweed pants suitand brogues with fringed tongues, but Sophieleans easily against the receptionist's desk,handing over a card with her blood type, a copyof her pregnancy test, and her money. She saysher name clearly, without embarrassmentMy booklet shows line drawings of a smallengine connected to a basin at one end and asuction tube at the other. This tube will beinserted through the little opening in the neck ofthe cervix and the contents of the uterus will bevacuumed out: blood, placental tissue, a tinyflesh-colored sea horse floating comfortably inits miniature caul. Will it try to swim awayfrom the suction tube? Anchored by it slenderumbilical cord like a water lily, will it resistevacuation?"Hannahmommy, come on, it's time. " Ijoin Sophie at the reception desk where sheintroduces me to the midwife, a lithe youngwoman with wavy hair cut like an acorn caparound her face . Holding hands, Sophie and Ifollow the midwife through the pale greencorridors into the heart of the hospital where thestench of ammoniated urine mixed withdisinfectant drifts down from the nursing home.My mother, Sophie's grandmother, lives ina nursing home permeated by this smell. Herhome was never a hospital , though; it 's aremodeled hotel with a domed atrium and wornmarble floors. Sophie and I visit my mo therevery Sunday. Last week when we came, shewas watching the very large, very loudtelevision which rests on a pedestal in the centerof the atrium. She and her friends werewrapped in white flannel blankets like infants ;strapped into their wheelchairs, the old wome nleaked pee into their diapers, drooled , doz ed .When an ancient, painted crone stalked onto thescene on skeletal legs, their heads jerked up,their memories momentarily alert."That's Bette Davis, " my mother said. "I' dknow her anywhere. Hannah, remember thatmovie we went to see that had Bette and MaryAstor in it?"Sophie said, "Grandma , we brough t yousome ice cream. Rum raisin. Would you like toeat it before it melts?"My mother nodded. She herself remi ndedme of rum raisin, her velvety eyes shri veled inher creamy face. Since my mother can nolonger feed herself, Sophie pulled up a chairand made a picnic table of her lap. She scrapedice cream from the cardbo ard contain er with a

plastic spoon and deposited it in my mother'smouth, cleaning up around the comers the wayyou make sure all the baby food goes in."That movie where they fooled the husbandabout which one really had the baby?" mymother continued.It must have been forty years ago. Mymother and I saw this movie on a Saturdayafternoon when I was in fifth grade. "Bette wasmarried to George Brent, but Mary waspregnant with his baby," my mother said. "Itgot pretty complicated, the women were hidingin a cottage waiting for the baby so that whenBrent came back from the air force, he'd think itwas Bette's." My mother and I had held handsand eaten Mounds bars in the movie theatre.She'd turn to me now and then to see if Iunderstood the story and I'd say, "Shhh," afraidshe was going to explain it out loud.In her wheel chair, a final spoonful of icecream melting on her tongue, my mother fellasleep before she could remember how the filmhad ended. I myself was not certain, butsomehow the husband and wife must havebrought up the baby together because this wasbefore they had divorce and abortion in themovies.Sophie, the midwife, and I are now in thetreatment room where the abortion would beperformed. It is perhaps eight by ten feet, thefloo rspace ?omi ated by an examining tableeqmpped with stirrups and a wide roll of whitebutcher paper. A Mediterranean seascape -- flatblue ocean, red sail, terra cotta roof tops -- hasbeen taped to the ceiling above the table.Sophie places her feet in the stirrups and looksup at the sailboat. I sit in the comer on a metalchair, Sophie's dungarees and Mao jacketfolded in my lap, wishing she were on the deckof the boat, sailing the little craft into the wind.I notice that the brassy hair on her legs hasthickened; I would like to reach out and strokeit.The midwife bends her head betweenSophi.e's leg, pushing; the girlish knees apart,reachm g for her surgical gloves, her lubricant."Now I'm going to insert the speculum, it mightfeel a little cold. Now I'm going to swab yourcervix with disinfe ctant. "I remember these words from when I wasmyself a youn g girl, broad -boned and curlyheaded like Sophie. Legs spread apart, skirtpulled up, I lay on a table like this one in Dr.Chapin 's oak paneled office where rows of fatmaroon medical books were stored in glassfronted cupboards. It was evening, the patientsall treated, the nurse gone home. Snow wasfalling outside in the dark.Doctor Chapin had graduated from highschool in my mother's class. He was a bigman, pear-shaped, with gold-rimmed glassescovering his round eyes. He said, "Yourmother was quite a gal. You understand, Iwouldn't do this for everyone.""My mother doesn't know about this . ""Of course not. And we won't tell her.Say, how did that young feller get in there?You're clutched up tighter than a nun's bun.You,,know, I can't do this if you don't loosenup."I'll try.,,''You'd be more relaxed if you had a climax.Here, let me help you."I remember Doctor Chapin's brush cut, allthe blond and gray hairs even on the top of hishead. I remember he took off his glasses andput them on the stainless steel basin attached tothe examining table. I remember the large,spongy hands, the fine-grained fla cid to!lgue.Afterwards he said, "Now I'm gomg to msertthe speculu , it might be a little cold . this'!I ,,pinch a bit .there, that wasn't so bad, was It?Suddenly, Sophie is on her feet. "Stop, ithurts. I can't stand this!" She paces betwee the examining table and the wall, her eyes wild,her flanks filling the narrow space. "I can't. Ican't."'Well " the midwife says, "you could carrythe baby to term, or you could have a salineabortion in the second trimester . "Sophie stops prowling. S e straightens hershoulders, pulling the T-shrrt nght across herchest. CHE LIVES stretches like a bannerbetween her nipples. "I have to," she says.Then, loudly, "/ don't want this thing insideme."I ask, "Would it be easier for you if Ileave?"''Yes, please.".The sun, slanting towards evemng, hasreached the waiting room ahead of me. Broadstripes of pale light lie across the round table,the magazines, the waiting wome?. I take myplace in the ring of chairs, stretchmg my legsinto a patch of sun. I can see clearly that thecuffs of my herring bone trousers are frayed,that little deposits of shoe polish are wedgedbetween the crepe soles and leather uppers ofmy shoes. Early this morning, I shined theshoes at the kitchen table, polish, rag, andbrush laid out next to my coffee cup.Sophie had come to sit opposite me at thetable. She picked up the shoe brush and startedbuffing the shoe I'd already smeared withpolish--left side, right side, heel and toe, leftside, right side, heel and toe. She had chanted9

-these directions to herself when she was a childto make sure she didn't leave unpolished spots."How are you feeling?" I asked."All right. Nervous." Left side, right side,heel and toe. ''Did you know, when I went tohave my first examination at the Health Center,there were right-to-lifers picketing outside?""Did they bother you?""They just marched around with signs andtalked to people." Sophie set down the shoeshe'd been working on and picked up the otherone. "I guess in a way they did bother me.They talked about killing babies as if having anabortion was committing murder." Brush,pause, brush, turn, left side, right side.I said carefully, "I guess there are differentways to look at it.""/don't think there are different ways tolook at it. It's not a baby, it's an embryo. It's azygote." Brush, brush, tum, brush.''You know," Sophie continued, "theybelieve in capital punishment but not inabortion? I tried to tell them that murder iskilling people who already exist. Killing a littlething that's like a tadpole isn't murder." Brush,brush brush, brush, brush brush."It's all right," I said, "it's all right. Youhave to take care of your own life.""There are millions of tadpoles," Sophiesaid. "We used to scoop them up in the pondwater for ecology class. Did you know thatwhen ducklings dive their heads into the pond,they're eating tadpoles? They gobble upanything that moves. It's an instinct."In the waiting room of the Women's HealthCenter, I find that I have stood up. Blackshapes like tadpoles swim inside my eyes. Ishake my head to clear my vision and wonderwhy I'm on my feet. I would like to moveaway from my chair, but there's no spac ;thecoffee table is in my way. I tum twice, like adog treading out snakes in the grass, then sitdown again. Leaning my head against the chairback, I close my eyes and watch the lackforms fade behind my lids. Exhaust:Ion spreadsover me like a feather comforter.When Sophie comes back into the room,she stand quietly by the reception desk, weighton one leg, waiting for me to join her. Sheseems a little pale, the skin around her eyestranslucent like the eyelids of a sleeping infant,but her back is straight, her gaze direct; sh

remarkable and inspiring book, Octavio Paz's biography of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a seventeenth century Mexican nun. The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes calls her the first great Latin American poet. Juana Ines de Asbaje (or Juana Ines Rameriz -she used both her father and mother's name

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