Two Women in Turquoise

On the meeting of Hillary Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi, December 2011.


They made her into a nutcracker doll, navy
pantsuit with that toothy grin—she bore down
this way. A mama-wife, a woman
in the ballot box, her name no game hen.
She knew she could do both:
she’d ratchet and nurse.


She learned to tend early on: she returned to care
for her mother, stayed for the rally. Peaceable heart,
she was slipped into the envelope of a house, kept tidy.
She could only tend her ailing husband in separation.
Her children, safe. Herself, in a nest without
a roof, heist by cyclone. Only piano keys and strung flowers.


Two women in turquoise suits embraced, each
blue arm winging up, the flash of Canon-fire echoing,
lightning on the horizon, soft curves on repeat,
dozens of news crews, a pit of them, like vipers:
this is what it might look like if women
ran all of it, not just the knobby bits.

There was that tentative look, first meet, shy smile
so emblematic of the first crush, and if you
looked closely—really looked—you could see it
welling up, predict the wave of it, the smile-spread,
the lean-in, ovation, two shudderingly powerful women,
mountains moving, unlatched.

—Molly Sutton Kiefer, Red Wing, MN