Before you read this week’s poem, just a friendly reminder…
The Third Age is still going strong! Season One is drawing to a close, and more episodes are coming. It is an awesome story and very exciting! If you missed my other post about The Third Age, you can read my take on it HERE.
My daughter, Amber, is the producer. If you like watching the story “all at once” instead of in weekly segments, now is a great time to see it all HERE.
I always think a lot about my daughter. Her strength and determination are amazing. Lately, I have also been thinking about all the strong women I know. Many of them are older women.
In the first Maudene poem I posted, I had a specific woman in mind as I was writing. Maybe a couple. But now that I look back on it, I think Maudene is a combination of several women, including my daughter.
I also have a friend who could literally be Maudene when she is older. I think I was writing subconsciously about her, too. She is now the captain of a big ship. She shows the men how it’s done.
Here’s to all those strong women, no matter what work they do. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. They move mountains and walk on water. They are truly the salt of the earth.
One Woman Working
Maudene has worked the ocean
for seventy years—her big boots
balance firmly on the old bow
of a hand made shrimp boat.
She knows the beat of engines,
the pull of ropes, nets, tide.
She knows the permanent roots
of mud on her palms, grease
on her cheeks, wind in her teeth.
Maudene breathes each season.
The sting of horseflies and sun.
The growling water of a storm.
The sparkling backs of dolphins.
The softness of sharp August stars.
She knows those bone lean years
when creditors circle at the dock,
when prices rise and profits fall,
when she eats wet cornbread
on deck for the long, hard haul.
Her world is being swallowed
by condominiums and big ships.
But Maudene will not stop.
She will not gasp and die
beside a sun dried puddle.
She will live to sweat nets forever
in a faded, flannel shirt—her boots
a rock of ages on a creaky old boat.
One woman working, salt strong.