Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion: The Imperial Doctress

Background: I wrote this poem in honor of my mother, a physician. I was inspired by slam poetry and multiple listens of Beyonce’s LEMONADE. Can’t say this is one of my stronger poems, but I wanted to pay tribute to my mom, who took a very different life path from mine but really is one of the strongest, most inspiring women I know. In addition to the other cool lady poets in here besides Beyonce (namely, Emily Dickinson and Sleater-Kinney), I’d like to cite Tan Yunxian and Tuyouyou as inspirations. 

The Imperial Doctress

Like a gathering swarm,

She stands the locust storm


Lady in funereal white!

You know a womb gives you life

But a woman preserves, she Vishnu-like


Medicine goes down in sugar spoons

And blood and moons and drowned platoons

Cuz by Artemisia, she moxibusts monsoons


Of malarial dunes and menstrual swoons

She hefts oppression like cathedral tunes


Reigning physician of the Ming,

She don’t gotta give it up cuz she’s professional

Yeah, she’ll leave those dull lads behind


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