Three Poems by Beate Sigriddaughter

What She Doesn’t Want

She doesn’t want to complain. That in itself makes things quite difficult. She only gets to walk the path of beauty once, and she doesn’t want to do it in rags. She doesn’t want a dog and she doesn’t want a gun, not even for protection. She doesn’t want to have to beg for light, and she doesn’t want to stumble in the dark. She doesn’t want to deal with people. She doesn’t want to be a willow to their wind and rain. She doesn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t want to frighten the children. She doesn’t want to live her life in her spare time. She doesn’t want to be an afterthought. She doesn’t want to clean her windows or file her many significant papers. She doesn’t want to be civil in the morning, but she invariably is. She doesn’t want the river to stop.

She wants to learn how to swim better. She doesn’t want to give up on this world, and she doesn’t want to get to the end of the story.

What If

a goddess
and sparked
into your sleep
to tell you
you would never
have to kill
again or risk
your life
war was over
you could come
home at last
without first

you could stop
your worship
of death
and guns
and a god
who favors them
you could stop
your respect
for evil

what would you do?


If she could wear the cloak of anonymity, she would write the most tender beauty unfolding from dew-jeweled buds. Her golden, untrammeled love for this amazing gift of world and breath and life would shine like white blossoms on a spring night tree.

Instead, she shies away from intrusive visits, from plastic cups and candy wrapper knowledge that only money counts.

If she had sufficient courage, she would sing from morning till night and be brave like the last remaining hummingbird of the season at the feeder in drifting snow. 

Beate Sigriddaughter,, lives in Silver City, New Mexico (Land of Enchantment), where she was poet laureate from 2017 to 2019. Book publications include a poetry collection, Wild Flowers, and a short story collection, Dona Nobis Pacem. In her blog Writing in a Woman’s Voice, she publishes other women’s voices.