I have seen those dolls, some Indian-made,
or of settler girls. Corn husks and cobs,
dried currant eyes, wheat silk hair. Or
stuffed with straw, flour sewn in bags
for body and warmth. Scraped up from
clay, twigs rolled in mud, leaves wrapped
into arms. Seeds and wool for clothes.
This is how it is, I think, how it always
should be. Woman made of earth and
nature, ripe with the rough touch and grit
of sand and rippling water. Not because
history claims them. But just because
woman makes what she can from what
she knows: the taste of ashes to ashes,
dirt to dirt, the quiet made from walking
through the knee-high grasses. If you let
her. If you just leave her to do what she
knows, flesh and bones of her own making,
if you just let her be.
Joey Brown’s poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in a number of literary journals including Rhino, The Mid-America Poetry Review, The Dos Passos Review, Compass Rose, Pinyon, Clare, The Chaffin Journal, Quiddity, Front Range Review, storySouth, Freshwater, and The Florida Review. Her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize three times. In 2010, Mongrel Empire press published a collection of her poems titled Oklahomaography.
Joey holds an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She is a writing professor and teaches writing workshops.