The Shapes We Mae

Cross-Legged

Friends & LoversKate WeinerComment

by Nicole Stanton

After years of living with people in their early 20s, in well-loved houses nearly falling apart, I moved onto a farm. My new house has seen two children come and go, along with countless chickens, goats, cats, and growing seasons. Here in my rural Colorado cocoon I live with two other women. Together, our lives span over a century. We are learning what it is to be three women, of three generations, making sense of the world together. This short poem is an ode to them, and to the home we're building together. 

On Saturday morning we sat

cross-legged

on a carpet doused in cat hair,

sipping butter coffee.

 

Our chat was about house rules:

how to clean the coffee pot

when to feed the goats

where the lentils live.

 

We arrived at the topic of men.

I sit, 22 years old.

Every man I love

an accumulation of guesses.

 

She sits,

nearly 40 and recently divorced.

She sits,

nearly 70 and recently widowed.

 

We navigate logistics,

of inviting boyfriends and lovers,

into a female cocoon

I am distinctly aware

of our belonging

in something tribe-like.

In this house of women

I am given permission:

to be soft around the edges

stretching,

and breathing,

after days

of being stiff

as an apple’s skin.

Mealy meat and seedless.  

Next to a fire,

built by hands

aged by Colorado winters,

I unravel.

 

Parts buried by “him”

grow into trees.

Wrapped in a blanket

of spruce needles,

melted beeswax,

chicken down.

I feel confident

living in questions

sleeping within walls of answers.

 

She rattles me,

she rattles she,

waking to hope for what comes

and wisdom from what was.

A trio holding its breathe,

hoping time

won’t stumble upon us.