Elizabeth Oakes

To Sappho

No one will forget you again,
you with your large heart,
like the drum of the daughters,
like the hum of the mothers
as they create the sound
the world makes

All the church fathers
and all the puritans
and all the patriarchs
and all the witch hunters
couldn't destroy you

Once there was a poet,
women told themselves
for centuries,
and she was female,
and she fell
into the ocean,
and she is falling always,
which is really
what flying is all about

Elizabeth Oakes' new book is The Luminescence of All Things Emily, a series of poems about Emily Dickinson and her friends and family. Her first book, The Farmgirl Poems, won the 2004 Pearl Poetry Prize. She lives and writes in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Sedona, Arizona.