McCarthy’s Girl


On looking how she was. Staring
always, as though there were
depths and hollows to see through
somehow all into. Something to stay with her
little girl hands twisting and then the warts.
She would always try to pull
The world into her fingers.
To play the sounds closer.
She was just oblivious
To her difference.

But behind, they knew her
for the witch they thought they knew she was,
Jude, Commie, sick-to-stick-out little girl,
Pale-wincer-in-the-sun with that heavy coat.
Cassie and Lassie, those twins,
they knew fast just what to do.
lasso a tip of her hanging braid
and soak it slow and silent in the
ink-well behind. Well, she just kept her still.
Her long eyelids shuddering in her quiet.
Little girl on the edges, locked inside in.
No Howdy Doody times, no way to say it.
She just fought to gaze hard to look straight
beyond the puppet land of the 1950s.
She had to come home to hide
behind the tv and the cooking.

All the time life opened up for her
savage saddle markings.

—Linda E. Chown © 2018


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

5 thoughts on “McCarthy’s Girl

  1. A third poem that enters the personal life of a woman (looking back to when she was a girl, here) to speak of political upheaval and injustice, what politics (and resistance) do the intimate spaces. These three poems of yours embody the feminist ideas of “the personal is political,” and “bodies are political.” And they do it as beautiful poems. Very nice work, Linda. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael. yes as to the personal being political. I learned it when no one was talking about it. I learned it so deeply that I have been protected somehow afterwards. It made me strong prematurely. But then being premature is one of my “things” since I was born six weeks premature. I like your idea of these poems being part of a story. Yes and there are so many other parts and so many poems of that ambiguous growing up. Thank you very much.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Third poem…
    All of them full of passion but, this one is my sufferingfriend.
    Cassie and Lassie were your torment?
    They seemed so innocuous I high school
    But, the two to torture you.
    I send love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, dear Adrian, Cassie and Lassie gathered together to put one out over me. They really did put my braids in the inkwells and, since I was so steadfastly sick, I was strange to the rest for so many reasons–my health, my inadvertent politics, everything. A few years after that time, I wonder how I survived with my courage intact. Thank you for writing my dear friend, Love, Linda

      Liked by 2 people

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