The Powerful, the Soft, the Splendid

Three poems about authority by Sarah Mangold

orchid bloom

The Powerful, the Soft, the Splendid

Ideas

 Ideas about where it was appropriate for women to exert 
 authority: American Fuchsia Society, California Spring 
 Blossom and Wild Flower Association, Business Men’s 
 Garden Club, Save the Redwoods League, Council for 
 the Protection of Roadside Beauty

 

Desire

 
 Attribute the practice to desire
 articulation of the visible proof of experience
 skin disrupts the distance
 the complete record of frontier 
 passing into history
 devotion to the task at hand
 
 Practice such expertise
 variant of the skin trade
 such doubts notwithstanding
 as I pause in the midst of this recital 
 Dear 
              Evidence of her desire 
 an artifact of its takeover  

 

Bones

Though all my bones collapse on the platform. How kind
they were to me. How careful for my comfort. Women!


Ah! As I have recently differed unapproached by railway.
Had not then the franchise better educated, better fitted,


well-too-do, cart to lecture. Antelopes and their native
neighbors form an attraction, even among the many


fascinations of the century’s gathered productions. On this
journal how thoroughly I approve her conduct. Where she


has done on the one hand rash not marked. Record my
view that it has been bravely done, and most usefully done.


Suggesting the altitudes at which they were found.
The powerful, the soft, the splendid.

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