Honey Novick, one of the poets in this anthology.
For Katherine L. Gordon beauty begins with love. "Love me as I am / For I am the softness of the world".
Whether you like it or not, says Kim Clark a "Beautiful Woman / is the one / who reflects your worth / [and] magnifies / your joy".
Darryl Knowles lists the strong women we see in history, on the screen, and includes "all the women in this world / who ever gave a f ... k / and never gave up."
Kate Marshall Flaherty remembers learning cursive writing in Grade 4 "under Miss Reed's giraffe lashes, / blinking" for she was the one who inspired her to write.
As a child L. Muirhead "never did want to be a girl / had always fit in with the boys" until her mother insisted it was time to wear a bra. When her brother's friend teased her about it she bloodied his nose.
Angeline Schellenberg's Oma lets down her long hair and suddenly she becomes a young girl again running through the grass.
"Like a soldier marching forward / you fought for independence" writes Debbie Okun Hill in her memorial to the journalist Malvena Hope Morritt.
Shelley Haggard recalls Jackie Ciano whose "vision / that the men who go fishing / create new lines and new knots / that the whales might escape" lived long enough to see the results of her crusade.
Waldemar Ens pays tribute to Feist - "unafraid / taking chances on the edge of disaster / fiery feet dancing on the rooftop ledge".
A mother's wisdom: "there’s no curfew / come home when it’s over / don’t drive fast" is the muse for Franci Louann's haiku.
Can a woman be beautiful when she is laid out in a casket? Louise Carson thinks so -"You model it for us
in sky blue with white hair, / your fastidious fashion sense / intact / before the flame".
Vikash Kumar attributes beauty to the dream "Of another world / A new realm, a divine vista".
Joy Donnell invests beauty in the imagined daughter as the centre of herself "& find you to be not a woman but a world / walking so high gravity evades".
Beauty has long represented ideals and for Kim Goldberg one ideal is strength, courage: "caked in cow dung and dust, nothing / to slake her burning thirst, her sun-baked / lips, but her own thin spit".
For Vuong Pham, resignation. "rainy night— / somewhere else / the stars shine".
Weighing skin deep beauty with beauty on the inside, Naomi Beth Wakan, asks what "may prevent me being seduced / by a pair of wild brown eyes"?
Can beauty exist within the womb? Pd Lietz writes "moist muscle pulsating / I laboured to be smaller / she implored me to be mightier".
"For in the end it is / to one another that we turn, hands / groping in the dark" writes Ronnie R. Brown.
Heather Brager paints a full circle from the edge of woman-as-object to "the synonym of / protector, the /
reckless bard / a strumpet, girl".
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