The Lost Girls

Poetry practice has taken a more formal turn this morning, with me working on rhyme scheme and keeping to a strict syllabic format. Partly, this is to do with having more time to tinker around with it. Open form is often a default position when the week is busy. Or haiku when I am teaching. Of which there is going to be an awful lot of in the next quarter. For now though, this is maybe a bit of a hangover from International Women’s Day.

Adolesence can be the wilderness (bewildering) years for both boys and girls. Yet, I really feel some girls get really lost and find it a long road to find their way back to their first nature. Maybe give them a compass and map, instead of the rape whistle I was issued with during orientation week as a freshman in college.

The Lost Girls

Perhaps we should issue
every girl
with a compass and map.

Along with some lessons
in wildcrafting,
how to tap tree sap.

Yet many are frightened,
lost in the woods,
left wounded and hurting.

They begin life, unfurl
blooming as nature means,

a wide-eyed child who twirls
dancing into
the world, light as a breeze.

Then we discontinue
their wildish glee.
Confused, misunderstood,

they argue, misconstrue,
left without means
to find their way, to do

themselves no harm.  Sadly,
beautiful girl,
we did not teach you lore,

to read a compass or
a paper map.
Instead we tried to strap

you into pinafores
you long outwore.
When what we knew we should

have done all along for
you was let live
your true north, your nature,

to give you a compass
when your sixteen,
teach you to read all maps,

go without GPS,
to venture forth
exploring your wild heart.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Invisible Woman

Lady Liberty

Happy International Women’s Day! And if anyone feels like grousing about there actually being an international women’s day at all, please move on now! And try and work on your empathy. I can see male oppression, too, just not today. Today, at least for one day of 365, women are visible. After I post this, I’ll shower and get ready to go to a Women in Business networking event in Enniskillen, where women making it happen in Fermanagh and Tyrone can meet up and get to know they are not alone.

So the Poetry Daily is all about International Women’s Day…and the reason why there is one at all in the first place.

Invisible Woman

The day that woman could be free...
of cat calls, forcing a smiley
face when really? It's all fake.
Just the habit of pleasing for safety's sake.
Except, when is it ever really safe
when you put on your armour every day
just to walk across a dark car park.
It's hard being prey...wolf whistles, cat calls.
We are ever vigilant not to blunder.
You can be a fox whose chased by horse and hounds.
Is it small wonder that sometimes a strategy
of invisibility seems really sound?

If you say we are everywhere
then today, please take note.
Women have so much flair, but
how often do you see them outside
the context of your care?
Feeding, cleaning, washing, nursing...
Do you see them building?
Do you see them calling you out
commenting on you nicely formed bum?
Token women breach the glass ceiling.
You can count them on your thumb.
(It must be exhausting always being the only one.)
Oh, and by the way, I don't really want a world
where I'll ask you to smile and compliment your bum.

It would be fairer if all of us
could actually look and really be able to see
the light that shines so brightly
inside souls with a female body.
To not live in a world where there are still
male theologians who even make that query.
That half a viewpoint can never be a whole.
It would be a wonderful world if we all rolled
with you seeing me and I would see you, too,
the light that shines oh so divinely -
water to air, earth to sky,
the yin to yang, woman to man,
the yang to yin, man to woman.
I see you. You see me. Honestly.
No need for invisibility.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash