Main Entry: sot·to vo·ce

Pronunciation: "sä-tO-'vO-chE
Function: adverb or adjective
Etymology: Italian sottovoce, literally, under the voice
1 : under the breath : in an undertone; also : in a private manner
2 : very softly -- used as a direction in music

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Working Girl

Partnership agreements,
level fields and books
I thought I’d never read.
I am sharing a subway car
with men at least twice
my age but with briefcases
at least twice as small
And me, I feel like the tallest-
short girl in the car who still young
has traveled into orbits I never
knew existed
when I stared at the Parliament
blue sky from a London
council-flat window.
Orbits, whole worlds, where I
can be a waif, or curvaceous in my
black tights, hips switching as
I walk from my sphere into yours.
I am a cat on the prowl, Pissing
and chewing and spitting out
your double-diplomas. Me —
the one you said never Could.
The one you said would be Plain
and the same and the same
as our Yorkshire cousins.
Pouring pints into half-wits
who’d father our children
and with a clip, Keep the Bitch in Line.
Well it’s high time now and my time now
and time and time again and Yet —
One person stops towing the family line
and that’s it: You are free as a sparrow
soaring on the first breath of Spring.