If a Woman Should Be Messiah
by Laura Riding
If a woman should be Messiah
It might not be an impressive drama,
It would be but a slight event and unsignaled
It could not but be beautiful.
Such a woman would surely say very little
Of morals and religion.
Such a woman would surely never travel
Or inspire a gospel.
She would live at peace shyly
With a local lake and on certain days
Intrude some nearly divine distress
Upon it, with a most feminine caress
As of weeping spotlessly over it
In tears no more wonderful
Than any other woman's.
She'd have no unnatural hungers,
No fewer lovers,
Do no evangelical tricks
With stones and sticks,
Even employ the innate art
To win the ordinary heart
Of an ordinary man,
As any wilful woman can.
And, as with any other woman,
Her self-confession would be kept
Close to her kerchief, under the pillow where she slept.
She might be adored of her household.
She could never deny them her faults.
She would pamper her private follies,
Talk too much of her dreams,
Pray to a personal God,
Deal unhistorically with facts,
Be sweet in marriage and motherhood.
Who'd be aware of her quiet work?
Who'd call her a savior or even a saint?
Who'd trouble her with a cross or a church?
No one would.