Fertility Goddess, Malta, circa 3000 BC
Lifted hem of the breasted goddess
like a curved basket for wild barley,
and under her clay skirt, the mystery
of gender, slit of she-who-brings-forth
Nobody really explains sex — the apparatus
of lilies, devices of spiders, the complex dance
of each in its kind: the condor’s stiff strut to woo
a snake-necked mate. At age two-and-a-half,
my clever grandson had to ask: Is it only ladies
who have those bumpy-out things?
I should have shown him this figurine, told him,
Here is your goddess -– She has made you
and will rule your life, and then, this softly, set
her down, a promise on his small, hot palm.
--Penelope Scambly Schott