Three by Jessy Randall
Wang Zhenyi (1769-1797)
Come to the garden with me
and sit in the pavilion.
Imagine the table is the earth;
this crystal lamp the sun;
this round mirror the moon.
No, we’re not doing astrology.
We’re not playing a game.
You will hear my theories
on eclipses, the shape of the earth,
and why we stay on when the planet spins.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997)
James Miranda Barry / Margaret Ann Bulkley (ca. 1789-1865)
Things would be so much easier
if I had a husband. The cuff-links
do me in every time. Had I
a husband, or a wife – a wife! – dressing
like a man each morning would be
less of a chore. With a wife on my arm,
I might not get called a sissy. Or, if a husband,
we’d be two fellows about town,
smoking and telling crude jokes.
The secret of me: I’ll keep it ’til death.
I’ll try to keep it even longer,
with careful instructions, but
words will fail me and I’ll be found out.