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A Fax for Mrs. Browning


We hope, despite your overcrowded schedule,

that we can still prevail on you to speak

at our June First commencement ceremonies

honoring Women's Education Week.

(Isn't it true that you attracted Robert

by quoting from Euripides in Greek?)


You have a life that many of us envy

(although your dad was something of a grouch):

No mommy track for poets, no glass ceiling,

no second shift of household chores to slouch

through, and no day-care center problems.

Draped elegantly on your invalid's couch,


you entertained those eminent men and women

who sought you out.  Then you had time to edit,

to read, to study Greek in solitude,

a vanished blessing.  Finally, to your credit,

at forty you achieved the perfect marriage.

Our girls could cry.  Come tell them how you did it.


Gail White



1995; originally printed in The Formalist.  Reprinted
by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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