Dangling Woman by Cynthia Dorfman I hang upside down. In a time of misbelief I am called upon to rearrange, to change From the canon sermoned long ago. Exposed, I am upended, topple- turved, With hair hanging, on a rope to suspend ideas Of birds. A girl, flighting in a head absent Of mindful thought—a bird Wrought in a cage Bought by a suitor. Rush of blood, draining. Rust-stained skin, hanging. My hair like a wick, cord for firing, Holds the songbird’s cage, dangling. Now expecting. Novel in the navel of feminine wiles. Solo, swinging low, from coir of my making. Swaying as a lifesmith wields her sickle. Blood rush in a gush of solace. Repose with eyes closed, My wrist cradles my neck, Frees the noose of my hair To hang. I embrace the self, my core, Above my womb, my wound, for life giving. For I am rebirthing. Forthcoming. The string umbilical Tuned to the canary singing. Inspired by “Songbird” 2003 Alison Saar Sculpture Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison
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During the summer, Cynthia Dorfman writes in Wisconsin where she saw the sculpture, “Songbird,” by Alison Saar at the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which inspired her poem, “Dangling Woman.” Her creative work has been published recently in Ekphrastic Review Challenge, Passager’s Pandemic Diaries, and The Library Love Letter, for example. She practices writing ekphrastic poetry as a frequent participant in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery writing program.