Where Will I Go Now?
The locally owned and operated feminist bookstore that so many of us have relied on as a source of progressive, independent books will be closed by the time you read these words. My Sister’s Words (MSW) is shutting its doors after 16 years in the Syracuse community. For some suggestions from Mary Ellen Cavanaugh, MSW’s founder and owner, as to where community minded folks might turn for the many needs MSW used to fill, visit the MSW website <www.mysisters words.com>.

Not Quite
(for mary ellen)

our friendship always not quite
the reading group didn’t quite
the walk we haven’t quite taken
the tea we haven’t quite sipped with each other.

my sisters words quite made it
sixteen years
and i was proud. syracuse
had what few cities did
we womyn of the cold
quite a part of that,
i never quite
not central, though circumferent
and in retirement
quite frugal, not useful for
a selling venture.

quite life-enhancing learning of monfredo
watching ellen’s coming out
perusing on new and best table
works otherwise i’d never
have known about.

so, mary ellen, open-hearted thanks
some regrets, not knowing quite
what unquited would have followed,
already feeling the void on hawley
and the absent table at future happens.

most, the face, the smile, the hello hug
not quite first in line
yet i will search
quite miss
and want to know
further on in life.

-elana levy, lover of women’s books,
Syracuse, NY, Nov. 2003

(for Mary Ellen and My Sisters’ Words)

Poetry is not a luxury
-Audre Lorde

Leaves fall red as sorrow, yellow memory, sift to green grass.
Purpose will shift in the wind, mapping journeys,
pointing us towards doors and along certain highways
to find the route to each new exit sign.

Time demands action, to initiate like sunrise;
to continue, a farmer with a stubborn field
sorting out the stones that rose from winter
cycles of freeze and thaw through bare rich soil.

Yet the moon pulls her sisters into new orbits
when the weight of freezing becomes a burden.
Words echo in the bookshelves, naked as November,
and space, full of discovery, stretches before us.

-Georgia A. Popoff