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Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Woman Must Always Look Twice

A woman must always look twice
She must look first at what she sees
Then she must look deeper
She must read between the lines
on each face
She must look for subtext,
for subtleties
She must be alert
to the riptide
below the water's surface
or risk being carried out to sea,
drowned.

Yes, a woman must always look twice
She must look first at the smile
Then study the teeth
She must suss out
the impulse to rip her apart
She must know when she meets a wolf.

A woman must always look twice
She must first look ahead,
know where she is going
not get diverted by mazes or tricks
And she must look behind
She must be aware
of those trying to overtake her,
to run her over
or leave her naked and bleeding in the street.

A woman must always look twice
Even at another woman
She must protect what is hers
from her sisters,
her friends
who are themselves looking twice.

A woman must always look twice
when she looks in the mirror
Does she look pretty?
Does she look too pretty?
She must look at herself
Then she must look as another would look at her
She must assess the message in her clothes
in her hair, her make-up
Do her hips sway?
Do they sway like a woman's should
or like a whore's?
A woman must always look twice
at her body.

A woman must always look twice
A woman must always look twice.


submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Open Link Monday

10 comments:

Mama Zen said...

Excellent write. You tell it just like it is.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! This is so on point, LM. I want my daughters to read and learn from your lines.

She must be alert
to the riptide
below the water's surface
or risk being carried out to sea,
drowned.

Excellent!

Magaly Guerrero said...

*Looks (grabs a life vest) looks again.*

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I wish I had known this way back when!!!! Those sharp teeth!!!!!

Fireblossom said...

Okay, wut, did the spirit of Maya Angelou end up in your body? Cos you're writing powerfully here.

grapeling said...

powerful ~

blueoran said...

Maybe that's why guys are sized larger than gals. They stink at reading two deep, so they need bigger feet for running away. Just kidding ... You do a fine job of showing what's under every first surface with a second look.

Margaret said...

… if we can barely grasp what makes us tick… men have NO chance. I tend to let some of these "rules" slip now that I'm older - ;) Very clever poem.

rallentanda said...

Powerful and real.There is so much pressure on a woman...you are damned if you do, and you are damned if you don't...so best live life the way you wish ...be happy in your own skin and middle finger to the rest!

Grace said...

I love the title and repetition LM ~ We can all learn from your verses as it packs a punch ~