The Un(h)armed Wo(man) (Tina Cane)

The un(h)armed wo(man)     is transgender is flower

is fetus steeped in bio-diversity     of vulnerable depths

of mother    no less science-based than the best

evidence of capacity for love     bestowing un-

conditional dignity on all     our American entitlement

of standards and wishes


Tina Cane is the founder/director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI and serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, where she lives with her husband and three children. She is also the author of Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books) and Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante.

Inspiration: I am writing a cycle of short poems called The Un(h)armed Man which explore human nature, culture and human responses to culture. After I wrote this poem using the banned words, I realized that some of these words actually form the heart of the cycle’s concerns.

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