wilderness in women



I’m old…
I can tell you this

women need wilderness
…especially when they’re young

for in wilderness they learn
not to trust old maps;
and they swim in icy streams
if bridges are washed down

in wilderness…
they hear honest sounds,
and know when nestlings
rasp for raw sustaining flesh
they hear healthiness…
not the noise of whining

and on the day they die
women raised in wilderness
sing to themselves…remembered
songs to float with them from
this world to the next


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork Balthazar Denner


23 thoughts on “wilderness in women

  1. Bonni, this poem speaks to my heart and my soul, and especially on this day, to my injured common sense. I guess I have no common sense, but I know how to sing. Thank you for thoughts to carry me forward.

  2. you SPEAK OUT LOUD when you speak about wilderness and women, I remember some earlier work you did on this theme which likewise ‘folded’ me in its embraces, and I am not woman, and yet my experience suggests it is …

    I hope you are well, Bonnie

  3. bonnie, you captured me right away with “for in wilderness they learn/ not to trust old maps.” so much wisdom there. i came away from the poem thinking of my mother, who had the strength to find her own way in the world. thanks for that.

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