by Judy Swann
I like to think about George Sand wearing trousers
and practicing free love, which confused the men,
because it was not promiscuous.
Her paramours have articles
in Wikipedia, but with their portraits in profile
you can't really see them.
When Sleep's satin fingers glide across
your eyelids¾or a man, pushing past your servant,
drops lightly to his knees beside you,
think of her. And think of her if they don't.
Don't be confused by her small feet;
they came from China, long before Perrault
and Grimm and Disney and Manolo Blahnik.
And she understood egotism so well
as a kind of retardation mixed with insanity
considered brilliant by so many today.
And she mastered the technical vocabulary
of the rural states: the person who grows hemp,
he who makes haystacks, who cares for the cows,
the person who is a master terrace builder,
and the young woman who has only just
begun to cover her hair.
* * * * *
"George Sand" is part of Judy Swann's new collection Fool (Kelsay Books 2018)
Judy Swann renounced her car several years back and is bicycle commuter in gorgeous Ithaca, NY. She is a poet and essayist who publishes fairly frequently, both in print and online. Her book of poetry, Fool (Kelsay Books) was released in December, 2018. Her book of essays on the cartoon superhero Stickman (John Young) is slated to appear in early 2019.