The Sunday Poem: Margaret Randall . . . Jesus' Little Baby Sister

Jesus' Little Baby Sister

Did Jesus have a little baby sister?
Official history gives no clue
but women’s voices
sing of her to audiences that chuckle,
some in delight, others
because the idea makes them squirm:
an only child so much more fitting
as Savior or King of men.
Well, King of men and women,
if you must.

Ben Franklin had a favorite sister Jane.
For 63 years he wrote her letters
in an era when girls were taught
to read but not write.
Mother of 12, most of her children
died before she did,
Jane took in boarders
for money and conversation—
her window on the living.

At 17 I fled the confines of a loving home.
My parents’ encouragement
left me wanting everything.
Traveling with a room of my own
strapped to my back,
I tried on obstacles for size,
stumbled over one, then another
until I discovered neither century,
gender nor encumbrance of any kind
could still my mind, silence my voice.

Margaret Randall

We celebrate International Women's Month with this poem. Margaret Randall's most recent books of poetry are AS IF THE EMPTY CHAIR / COMO SI LA SILLA VACIA, THE RHIZOME AS A FIELD OF BROKEN BONES, and DAUGHTER OF LADY JAGUAR SHARK, all from Wings Press. ABOUT LITTLE CHARLIE LINDBERGH is forthcoming this year, also from Wings. Among Randall's recent non-fiction titles are CHE ON MY MIND (Duke University Press) and MORE THAN THINGS (University of Nebraska Press). She lives in Albuquerque with her partner of 27 years, the painter Barbara Byers, and travels widely to read and lecture.

Photograph above is Margaret Randall in San Francisco, 2012, by Scott Braley.

Photograph to the left is Margaret in New York, 1960, by Fred McDarrah, from The Beat Scene, Corinth Books.

Do see  her article on Dorothea Lange and our naming of things, quite an essential discussion, in New Mexico Mercury.

Submissions with photo and short bio are always welcome, my email is.

Larry Goodell 

Poetry at the Range Cafe, a wonderful new series of live poetry events in Bernalillo, is every 2nd Wednesday from 7 to 9pm and this Wednesday the 12th features Jessica Helen Lopez, also Kevin Kirby & open mic. Bill Nevins says, "Come early have dinner and stay for the poetry!"

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Comment by Dee Cohen on March 9, 2014 at 2:18pm

A treat to read during international women's month when many women are still searching for 'a room of one's own.'  Margaret continues to be a shining star in ABQ's literary world, inspiring others with her work and, more, encouraging all those around her to find their voices. Thank you!


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