To the Women Who Wrote Before Us



-for my daughter and sister


Family photos remind me of women who rise

from the folds of our knuckles. They crawl

pursed lips first with heads titled back.


Their miniature arms and legs anchor

pencil to page. Limbs wrap around wood

like kids hugging treesĀ afraid


to fall. Wild with story

they ride our fingers like horses

until they fly off


loud birds–these women–

loud birds

with words for wings


Shawn R. Jones (12/28/17)