Category Archives: Poems about women

The Legend

Maiden’s Dilemma

Each myth, legend or fairytale
from “once upon” to “fare thee well”
shares some elements of story
be they sad, uplifting, gory.

Always a damsel in distress—
Rumplestiltskin’s name to guess,
for straw once spun out into gold,
or another story to be told.

Too much sleep may be her curse,
ugly stepsisters, or worse.
Murder, treason, sloth and pox
were emptied from Pandora’s box.

These troubles spread from near to far,
(although, in fact, it was a jar.)
Zeus forgave Pandora’s shame.
The imp revealed his own strange name.

But the other women described above
were saved by cleverness or love.
Scheherazade escaped the hearse
with stories, legends, tales and verse.

Cinderella rose from hearth and ashes
and Sleeping Beauty opened lashes­­––
both maids saved by daring-do:
one by a kiss, one by a shoe.

So whatever might have been their fate:
loss of child or murderous mate,
wipe tears and fears away with laughter.
They all lived happily ever after.

 

Another rewrite from four years ago. The prompt today was legend.

Burning Your Journals

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Burning your Journals

Who knew fidelity’s even stance
could be mitigated by circumstance?
That a subtle smile, perchance,
exchanged between you at her advance
would wind up in a swift romance
that flourished in that small expanse
between us and her winsome glance.

Who knew that you would go freelance
when love became our ritual dance?
And that I, still in loving’s trance,
would only learn it later, by chance.
Reading your words, caught twice askance.
First by your death, then grief enhanced
as I suffered loss anew
with this further death of you.

 

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The prompt word today was trance.

“I Imagine” dVerse Poets, Prose Poetry

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I Imagine

I imagine one more holiday.
My mother sits at a large picture window
looking out over a broad beach,
watching dogs fetching sticks.
Then, because she cannot help it,
she takes her shoes off to walk through packed sand.
I imagine her sighting the offshore rock
where puffins nest.
I imagine footprints—hers and mine
and the paw prints of the dog—
someone else’s—
who joins us for the price of a stick thrown
over and over into the waves.

My mother could count her trips to the beach
on one hand,
and most of those times have been with me.
Once, in Wales, we sat on the long sea wall
under Dylan Thomas’s boathouse.
A cat walked the wall out to us,
precise and careful
to get as few grains of sand as possible
between its paw pads.
As it preened and arched under my mother’s smooth hand,
its black hairs caught in her diamond rings.

The other time we went to the beach
was in Australia.
We stayed out all afternoon,
throwing and throwing a stick,
a big black dog running first after,
then in front of it,
my dad sleeping in the car parked at the roadside,
my mother and I playing together
as we had never played before.

My mother and the ocean
have always been so far divided,
with me as the guide rope in between.
I imagine reeling them both in toward each other
and one more trip.
My mother, me, a dog or cat.
Wind to bundle up for and to walk against.
Wind to turn our ears away from.
Sand to pour out of our pockets
to form a small  volcano
with a crab’s claw at the top.

So that years from now,
when I empty one pocket,
I will find sails from by-the-wind sailors
and shark egg casings,
fragile black kelp berries
and polished stones.
The bones of my mother. The dreams of me.

From the other pocket, empty,
I will pull all the reunions I never fought hard enough for—
regrets over trips to the sea we never made.
And I’ll imagine taking me to oceans.
Walks. Treasures hidden in and hiding sand.
Someone walking with me—
someone else’s child, perhaps,
and a dog chasing sticks.

Note: I never took that last trip to the ocean with my mother, but I think of her every year when I come to stay at the beach on my own, and this year in particular, every time I throw the stick for Morrie and every time children come to play with us.

Written for the dVerse Poets prompt, Prose Poetry.To play along, go HERE.

Wish List of a Youngest Daughter


Wish List of a Youngest Daughter

Off and on, I’ve been wishing
my dad and I could go fishing.
I guess my sister could go along
so long as she does nothing wrong
like catch a fish bigger than mine
or tease or hum or brag or whine.

Perhaps she’ll sit back in the bed
and not up in the cab instead,
so Dad and I can be alone—
the truck a sort of “private zone.”
He’ll hit the bumps real hard so she
will wish she was in front with me.

Just like I always pray and pray
her friends and she will let me stay
with them, when they come for the night
and play without me, door shut tight.
Marvelous fun had down the hall,
but not with me.  I am too small.

That’s why, when Dad tells me a joke,
I’ll laugh real loud until I choke;
and my sister, sitting there behind
might feel left out, but I don’t mind.
And when we get to where we’re going,
to the stock dam, cattle lowing,

Dad will bait my hook for me
and sister, too, and then we’ll see
who will catch the biggest fish.
I guess it’s obvious that my wish
is that I’ll catch the biggest one,
and sister will go home with none!

The prompt today is “Fishing.”

Tete a Tete

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Tete a Tete

She seems to have made a career
out of practicing “sincere.”
Her trembling lip, her balanced tear
as she murmurs, “Oh, my dear,
I’m sorry, I know how you feel,”
work better when they’re meant for real.

In fact, she only lends an ear
because of what she hopes to hear––
shocking, scandalous or queer.
And oh, my dear, she’ll persevere.
Huddled over a drink or meal,
she can hardly hide her zeal

as she brings up your greatest fear––
your erring child or spreading rear,
the lover who’s been gone a year,
that bank loan that’s now in arrear.
She only asks because, you know—
just because she loves you so!

In patience, she is without peer.
She’ll face you, rapt, her face thrust near,
and ply you with another beer.
She is your confidant—your seer.
And though she says her lips are sealed,
her oath will too soon be repealed.

Her parting kiss, it would appear,
is offered to the ionosphere.
It makes no contact.  Does not adhere.
It seems like she’s shifted a gear.
The next time she dines out, it’s true,
she’ll be dining out on you!!

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The prompt word was “sincere.”

sincere.

Waiting for the Rest of Her Life

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Waiting for the Rest of Her Life

She has faith in the future that her life will fit.
She sits at home patiently, planning on it.
But as she sits waiting for the rest of her life,
the fear it won’t happen cuts like a knife.
As day after day goes by in a whirr,
she’s starting to realize it might not occur.

Her little white dog lies curled up beside her,
but stroking his coat won’t relieve what’s inside her.
She’s yearning for something­–she’s not quite sure what.
Inside her, the want of it roils in her gut,
then digs itself deeper into her soul.
It’s like playing a game where she can’t find the goal.

In every city, far up, looking down,
there are folks in tall buildings, surveying the town—
every alley and walkway for as far as they can
eyes staring out as they survey and pan
the small world below them that must have an answer
to this life that’s consuming them like a slow cancer.

I want to tell them that love can’t find you.
You must lean yourself over and pick up a shoe.
Put it on, then the other one. Walk out the door.
Waiting’s not what life was intended for.
We were pushed into life at the time of our birth,
and life goes on pushing all over the earth.

So all of you people with all of your faces
behind all these windows in all of these places,
Give up your pining and wishing and hoping.
No happiness lies in all of this coping.
Go find your soulmate, no matter the weather,
and then you can spend your life waiting together.

 

 

The prompt word today was “waiting.”

 

 

Expert

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Expert

I used to be plucky, I used to be pert.
I used to pass muster in shorts or a skirt.
But lately my pert parts have just seemed to shift,
and various parts are in need of a lift.
Big tops are my saviors. Caftans are my friends––
obscuring my excesses, shielding my bends.
Back in my plucky days, I was a flirt,
but seduction is over now I’m an ex-pert!

 

The prompt today was “Expert.”