Heather Lewis in September, 1985
By Anne Babson
No. There was no sign of it as you strutted
In like a bull-dagger Elvis, tanned, buzz cut,
            Cigarette drooping out your mouth like 
            A Bogart line from The Maltese Falcon.

No. You gave no hint of it as you turned the
Chair around, the butchest Marlene-Dietrich-
            Defiant attitude oozing out
            Your naughty smile, with double entendres
Worthy of the butchest, most diesel moment
Of Mae West's life, your oddly feminine hands
            Clenched in fists that looked tight and ready
            For any altercation the crowd sought,

No. You gave no clue to us that you were less
Than superwoman, a self-contained army
            From ancient Central Europe astride
            Wild horses, breasts missing for archer grips,

No. You didn't give us a chance, no guesses
That you were less than ironclad, that you cried
            And howled, and sobbed, and snotted, and moaned
            And needed us so much to pray for you

To patriarchal heaven and a male God,
The Creator of the universe Himself,
            The truest God and the butchest One,
            The One who taught you how to strut like that.

You would resent me for my commentary,
Yes. You might even beat the crap out of me,
            But Heather, you were just too cool to
            Go out like that, so can you blame me, girl?

Birthday Blue Poetry Index