The War On Women II: The Knock at Midnight ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 10th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women II: The Knock at Midnight.”


Obsessively vigilant, the sky watchers,
Good sons of vigilant mothers,
Possessed a militaristic capacity
For disciplined effort.
And so, when the night’s darkness fell
On this spring dawn
As silvery veils of rain,
They read it as an evil premonition.
They could not help but see
These violations
As a dangerous woman in a sable bodice,
The moral density of a purple flower
Voluptuously tucked between her breasts.

They say, those men born into uniform,
That it is nature’s law
That even our most intimate relations
Express themselves as combat:
Repressors perpetually battling activators.
While the others, the soldiers’ apologists,
Those men born into academic tweed,
Explain: “This is the animus of the mother,
Who always eats the innocence of her children.”

Mrs. Flórez, her husband strangled,
Was snatched away at night
While her children screamed.
It is raining.
And in the morning,
No one has the bravado
To speak of such a trivial form of death.
Instead, the men in uniform or tweed,
Resort to euphemisms.
“The feminine body — the dark, the rain, the dawn —
“Is to be subjected to preventative detention,”
A measure, they claim, designed for her own protection.
But when night comes
With spring’s soft warmth and wet,
And the body’s house exudes its purple calm,
Their words are truncheons beating down the door.

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