Weaker than Water

"In the world, there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it." –Lao Tzu


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Feeding cloth beneath the needle

Pulling linen through the line

Thread biting seam–

what becomes of me?

I used to read poetry

In beatnik cafes. Swearing

at Sundays (damn it another crooked stitch),

I scorned baby joggers,

spited stay-at-home mothers—

“You’re setting back the women’s

movement,” I said (will that

appliqué look well on the sleeve

or lapel?)


My girls wear dresses in summer

An easily dressable season—

Dresses and underwear and

Sandals—and sandals are negotiable

Those Birkenstocks of mine

Collecting dust-bunnies beneath our bed–

I didn’t shave my legs,

Quoted Thoreau and smoked.

“You have to move the world,” I’d say.

“You can’t hold me down.”

Taking the pins from the hem, I hold

The dress at eye-level:


It’s beautiful.



Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Copyright May 2002


Author: All Things Writing, LLC

Katherine Gotthardt is CEO of All Things Writing, LLC, a full-service content development and content marketing company. A published writer and seasoned educator, Katherine leads a team of professionals on a mission to make clients shine online and in print.

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