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Anna Swanson, “When women were clouds”

Anna Swanson, “When women were clouds”

Author: Poetry Editor

May 25, 2011

This Wednesday, in anticipation of the 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards tomorrow night, a poem from Anna Swanson’s The Nights Also (Tightrope Books), a Lammy finalist for Lesbian Poetry this year.

When women were clouds

Back before control top pantyhose,
before the notion of too much woman—
when women were clouds,
we were consulted about everything.
We decided when the ships would sail and if
they would arrive. Men blamed their wet dreams
on the fog. Everyone sketched out secret plans
for a flying machine. It was a good time,
all in all, when women were clouds.
The rain never tasted better. We got more
airtime on the radio and there were many
and better words for women
who put out.


ANNA SWANSON is a poet and children’s librarian living in Vancouver, BC. Her debut book of poetry, The Nights Also, asks how identity is formed and challenged in relation to chronic illness, sexuality and solitude. It has been nominated for a Gerald Lampert Award and a Lambda Literary Award.

“When women were clouds” from THE NIGHTS ALSO by Anna Swanson. Copyright © 2010 by Anna Swanson. Used by permission of Tightrope Books. All rights reserved.

Photo by Vivienne McMaster.

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About: Poetry Editor

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