Eve’s Night Out

Tonight Eve’s Night Out is a platform of bravery. We are small group, just barely a dozen this time, but each reader is so honest and full of pitter-patter courage. I read my poems for Sherrill, one written in March and one written since her death. I close with a third poem, this one written by Ruth Whitman about a what a mother leaves behind of herself in her daughters and how that is planted again and again. It is the first time in a year that I have choked up at Eve’s Night Out and I have to grip the podium to pinch back my pain. When I look up, four women are crying in the audience – a gesture that gives me the strength to continue. If they can carry tears for me, I can get through this, I think. And I do.

Others read and what they’ve shared is so personal it would be unwise to try and write about it, even with false names.

The point is this: I moved the rural south in one of the poorest counties in the state. I am surrounded by three dry counties and Southern Baptists – at first glance. All this and I came from Portland – where espresso is God (as opposed to God being God) and piercings are parr for the course. But I have faith in the small things, like Eve’s Night Out, because I’ve learned that over time small things can swell inside my heart like a sponge, soaking up anything that is lacking from a place and replacing it with reverence for what I do have.

What do I have? Friends. A community of writers and readers and concerned, enlightened women. Brave women. Real women. Wise women.

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