travel with abandon

what were the paths worthy
of travel for women? in bygone
years each was meticulously
metered, measured, monitored, modified
to ensure promise of purity,
perfection in passage, and precision in

foolhardy journeys were deemed most unsuitable
for young women of dutiful upbringing,
deserting orthodoxy was met with
withering words, tattling tongue, flustered frown
— every one a roadblock for any
adventurous fledgling with wonder in
her eyes.

fanciful pursuits caused heads to shake,
arms to cross over buxom chests,
words to be whispered from one rural
party phone-line to another: this can never be!
for who would care for brood of offspring if
farmyard well were exchanged for trifling

frivolous designs: could they have grown
into vehicles transporting creator and viewer
into carefree spaces, ethereal places?
instead, they were disqualified
as meaningless caricatures without merit,
dismembered, discarded, relegated to the

where are you, o whimsical,
snuffed-out soul, long buried
as treasure in far-flung field?
you can—you must be exhumed from
repulsive tomb, revived despite rigor mortis,
resuscitated to travel yet uncharted course
with unabated abandon.


© Julia Penner-Zook, 2018
Photo Credit: Dariusz Sankowski via
follow me on Instagram: j_penner_zook
follow me on Twitter: @J_Pennz


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