A Woman

As I stand in front of this woman,

this unique and ordinary woman,

and listen to her story, her struggles, her hopes and despairs

I begin to see her.


I pay attention.

Her hair is nappy, uneven, uncombed

scathed by neglect and muck.

How long has it been since a man ran his masculine fingers through your wiry hair? Touching the delicate, robust curvature of your neck.

Do you remember the warmth of his hands electrifying every nerve ending they seduced?


Her eyes are sunken, dark with uncertainty of the future

And the monotonous routine she has reduced her life to.

The vibrancy of her eyes, like her sexuality, has been eclipsed by

Vanished lovers and exhausting attempts to feel


Her Sensuality buried by years of hard work, unrelenting problems,

And disrespectful men.


The curvature of her fully defined lips is interrupted with

Dry and cracked patterns of abandonment

Parched for the moisture of gently suctioning kisses


Do you yearn to fill feminine once again?

To smell of honeysuckle and cum?


Her hands callused and blistered have forgotten

The pungent scent of a man

His salty satisfying taste


When was the last time you were intimately caressed

Induced into erotic thrusting and swaying rhythms

Opened to accept his nectar?


Has your skin lost its lusciousness? Is it covered

with wounded stretch marks and overweight scars?

Do you remember your floral aroma before it was

Assaulted by years of loneliness?


Do you contemplate the oversized cambers

Of your body and think you are no longer

Deserving  nor desirable?


No earings adorn her face

No hues of red or rose soften her disposition

No trace of a ruffle or a flower

Simply a female

I was inspired to write this poem after a home visit with a student and her mother.  She was a single mother working relentlessly and tirelessly to support her four children.  She worked two jobs, and I was meeting her between shifts.  I could not stop thinking about her for days – her voice, face, hair, and hands were impressed in my memory.  She became a metaphor for all the women who have no choice but to survive; for the women who do the heroically impossible for their children; for the women in my family who sacrificed so I could become; for every woman who has  given her all and lost herself in the process.


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