In Defense

LoVerne Brown
  • LoVerne Brown

Taking little notice of
her womanly ambitions
he captured her with words of love
and all of the positions,
explored her beauty bodily
from lip to breast to bottom,
but left her mind a mystery,
and that is why she shot him!

LoVerne Brown (1912-2000) lived much of her life in sparsely peopled places—the Aleutian Islands, her grandparents’ homestead in Wisconsin, and in lumber camps and iron mine company towns along the Brule River in Upper Michigan. In Juneau, she worked as a reporter and later, in Seldovia, she and her husband published a weekly newspaper, The Westward Alaskan. She subsequently taught creative writing for the VA, at Fresno Junior College, and for the community school system in San Diego, the city in which she spent the last decades of her life. LoVerne Brown was a central figure in the San Diego poetry world and a writer and mentor who was greatly loved. This year marked the centennial of her birth and in July the Ocean Beach Historical Society held a celebration of LoVerne Brown’s life. “In Defense” is from her collection The Underside of Snow, published by Tecolote Press. It is reprinted by permission.

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