Beate Sigriddaughter

Beate SigriddaughterBeate Sigriddaughter lives and writes in Silver City, New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. Her work has received four Pushcart Prize nominations and won four poetry awards. In 2015 ELJ Publications published her latest novel, Audrey: A Book of Love. Find her site at





There are things we must not say.

There was a time when the law said
a woman who speaks out
against a man shall have her mouth
crushed with fire bricks.

There was a time when the law said
adulterers must be bound
and thrown in the river, even
when the woman was raped.
Her husband could pull her out
of the river, if he so desired, while
the king himself could save
a valuable man.

I am tired and heavy with things
I must not say. This silence feels
like grain of broken brick
between my teeth.

Arthur, with affectionate regret,
did not choose Guinevere
over law or flames. Would you
pull me from the river
if they tossed me there
against my will?
That is the question.

Oh, I remember, I am not supposed to
take things personally. But I am
the daughter of daughters of women
who were miraculously
neither drowned nor burned.

They have trained me with such memory
so you no longer have to crush
my mouth with bricks. All you have
to do is look at me a certain way.

This silence is not easy to undo
How I hate this silence.

One thought on “Beate Sigriddaughter”

  1. ———-OOOOOOO, such a gorgeous poem, Beate.
    My blood flowed a little faster reading it.


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