This week Women’s Voices for Change received a wonderful gift:  permission to bring you five of Molly Peacock’s poems. Molly Peacock is a true voice for women–forthright and wondering, pained and soothing, urban and earthy—someone as true to the polarity of living as she is solid and authentic in every line. Author of six books of poetry; performer of The Shimmering Verge, a one-woman staged monologue in poems; writer of prose; guide of the caroling crowds of poets she’s taught and encouraged; monument on the page, Ms. Peacock is one of a kind and ours for this month. Here is the first of our October Five, presented with gratitude and a shout of how lucky we are.


Friends are our families now. They act

With rivalry and concern, as sisters

And brothers have acted.  They repeat the fact

of family without the far-walked blisters

of heredity. Friends echo childhood

but stop childish acts, for they do not require

the child in us to serve. It is our mood

that friends serve and in our mirrors we admire

their faces and ours.  Where would I meet

my sister as a friend now?  Though I love her,

we have only our childhoods in common.

Friends help me get rid of what we’ll never

get rid of: our terror of the childhood we shun.

How sick I am of it! Yet I am it, which

my friends know, for the feel it as we embrace,

as I feel their families coursing through them. We itch

to understand what we cannot erase

but can no longer live inside of. Thus

we confide in those outside we bring beside us.

Reprinted from CORNUCOPIA: New and Selected Poems by Molly Peacock. Copyright (c) 2002 by Molly Peacock. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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