Grace Paley

In Grace Paley’s obituary in The New York Times, there was a photograph of a signed poem. It was not easily readable, but well worth reading. Here it is.


Fathers are
more fathering
these days they have
accomplished this by
being more mothering

what luck for them that
women’s lib happened then
the dream of new fathering
began to shine in the eyes
of free women and was irresistible

on the New York subways
and the mass transits
of other cities one may
see fatherings of many colors
with their round babies on
their laps this may also
happen in the countryside

these scenes were brand new
exciting for an old woman who
had watched the old fathers
gathering once again in
familiar army camps and com-
fortable war rooms to consider
the necessary eradication of
the new fathering fathers
(who are their sons) as well
as the women and children who
will surely be in the way.

If you like this, click here for more from Grace Paley. She published sparingly, but worthily.

Grace Paley, 1922-2007. May her memory be a beacon to poets, writers and readers for generations.