the beaded women

by Julie Bolt


beaded women dwell in walk up studios, adobes, off grid,
or fireside, wrapped in the arms of tu amor, view of every season
her eyes see you naked in conflict, in your sacred truth,
but past you, where all pantomime versions of the same human tale

when beaded women gather, they omit animal laughs
dancing into moonspace
tell embellished shero-journeys, filled in later,
by inter-generational starlight

the beaded women of every culture
are neighborhood healers
regaling the lost, pointing towards grandeur or grace,
awaiting the question or action

come as you are, young or old,
Seeking wisdom, queendom, queerdom, utopian dreams,
be warned of false friends,
avoiding the key humming on the table

there is the loud rolling desert,
the silent rumination of city
the dancing of molecules beyond bezoes-time
beyond passwords, or the oracle of apple

the seed of beads sprout fresh, rooted and reaching,
push beyond lovepain,
bruises, shoves, anonymity
to inhale space between dread and beauty 

beaded women love fire, flour, egg
pounding truth into bread dough
imagination birthed in earth,
a soup and spice unique to every region

beaded women have bills,
take lovers, slam doors, go celibate,
collect mirrors for you or her
to bounce light — and transcend temporal reflection

raucous songs and soothing songs
nimble fingers crafting daisy chains,
reaching to link across every border
the adorned bounty of grandmother dream



Julie Bolt is a NYC/Fort Lee based writer and educator. Recent poetry publications include: The Raven’s PerchNew Verse NewsMuthaShot Glass JournalHome Planet News, Club Plum, and Writing in a Women’s Voice, amongst others. She also writes scholarly articles, short stories and creative non-fiction. Julie is a tenured Associate Professor of English at Bronx Community College, currently serving as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Transformative Learning in the Humanities. She is active in public readings. Her book about liberatory education is called Border Pedagogy for Democratic Practice. Julie is the proud mom of a young adult.