Naked Dissent

Written by: Bernadette Langer

Daddy always kneeled--
but it was Momma who prayed,
as he spread lips that couldn't dissent,
no matter how much they trembled.

She was always naked for him
bleeding babies upon the floor,
while he explored their cradle,
fingering walls absently--
assessing her foundation;

Momma prayed for simple things,
blankets and frigidity--
anything to create separation;

Where naked wouldn't matter
under the cloak of autonomy
and the only grasping thoughts--
would be her own.