#MeToo: Two Poems by LeeAnn Meadows

When I Told

When I told my mother
she held me in her eyes,
wide and moist for only a second,
then she straightened her face
make herself presentable
and said,
”Your father could never have
done something like that. . .
You must be mistaken.”

When I told my brother
he listened unresponsively.
Later said he thought of me like someone
who had been abducted by aliens.
All other aspects and belief systems
are normal except this one aberrant belief.

When I told my lover
he held me in his long wiry arms
and let me cry.

Previous Published in Take Back the News.

Forewarning, 1969

I see you, Mother,
your bare legs crossed
in the wingback chair
outside the rental on the riverbed,
walls still stained waist high
from the 64’ flood.
A bright bold print stretched
across your pregnant belly,
full with your firstborn.

I want to warn you.

The handmade sweater
you are knitting
will not always fit
the tall, thin man you married.
His prominent forehead hidden
under reddish brown curls
Working as a civil engineer
he will survey the centerline
for Highway 101,
an important task.
Nightly you will greet him
with a ready smile and dinner.
I want to warn you
pack your walking shoes.

After your second born,
your husband will not come
straight home from work.
He will start drinking
lie down with strangers
then sleep with every
best friend you make
until eventually, you stop
making friends.
I want to warn you
leave now because later
you will think about leaving,
but find yourself without
the courage to lace your shoes.

I want to warn you.
Your smile will strain
and you will start
to believe his lies.
Eventually, you will join
the False Memory Society,
as you become unable
to cradle the truth
in both hands.

Previously published in Sin Fronteras: Writers without Borders.



LeeAnn Meadows was born and raised in Humboldt County, California and now calls New Mexico home. She lives on the outskirts of Las Cruces with her artist/husband, Glenn Schwaiger, and two dogs in an old adobe motel surrounded by pecan trees. Her work has appeared in Sin Fronteras, Adobe Walls, and Malpais Review.


Art is detail of Knitting Girl by Anders Zorn.

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