Amazons by Renee Emerson

after Louise Gluck

My mother is as tall as my father. Also firstborn,
she always stood up in a fight to her full height. 

Somehow, I explain this to my sisters
cowering together on the stairs, as a love

for each other. That she respected herself, matched 
his volume like a radio dialing in to a station.
I didn’t inherit it. Taller than some, but not most,
I buy pants at all the usual stores. My sisters, though,

as graceful and distanced as Arabian horses. They 
can see from the back of any crowd, and they do not 

hunch. She only became afraid of him this past year. 
In that, we all three favor our mother. 

Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014) and Threshing Floor (Jacar Press 2016). Her poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Christianity and Literature, Indiana Review, storySouth, and elsewhere. Renee lives in Arkansas with her husband and four daughters.

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