Sunday, July 6, 2008
Poem for every woman ( not just physically but at heart) by Julia Alvarez....
Sometimes I think I became the woman
I am by accident, nothing prepared
The way, not a dramatic, wayward aunt,
Or moody mother who read Middlemarch,
Or godmother who whispered, “You can be
Whatever you want”! And by doing so
Performed the god like function of breathing
Grit into me. Even my own sisters
Were more concerned with hairdryers and boys.
Than the poems I recited ad nauseum
In our shared bedrooms when the lights were out.
“You’re making me sick!” my sisters would say
As I ranted on. Whitman’s Sony of myself
Not the best lullaby, I now admit,
Or Chauser in Middle English which caused
Many a nightmare fight. “Mami!” they’d called,
She’s doing it again” slap of slippers
In the hall, door click, and lights snapped on.
“Why can’t you be considerate for once?”
“I am,” I pleaded,” these are sounds, sweet airs….
They give delight and “kept it to your self!”
My mother said, which more than anything anymore
Anyone in my childhood and advised
Turned me to this paper solitude
Where I both keep things secret and broadcast
My heat for all the world to read. And so,
Through many drafts, I became the woman
I kept to myself as I lay awake
In the dark bedroom with lonesome
Of their soft breathing as my sisters slept.