Reluctant culprit

(for all women who fight to live in dignity)

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I turned around and
years had
been swallowed

and nobody told me
life would hasten
to judge me again

reluctant culprit,
twice convicted,
being a woman,
and now growing old

years ago
wanted for play
and wanted for work
curves could convince
and eyes would coerce
(parentheses
around the lewd,
of course)

I waved
a red flag
to go beyond
no audience there
to crush these walls

of a prison set
right after birth
the law could bend
albeit never break

today
not wanted for play,
not wanted for work
no respect to get
or wisdom to give
(a target for botox,
that set aside)

I waved
a white flag
at an empty hall

no audience there for
a withering hag;
no status or justice
for this gender spurned

rules can still bend,
and yet never break.

The reticent call of tiny things

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Drops of chant
leaves of mist
hands of light
have kissed our lives

and yet we do not realize

birds of airs
rivers of kind
words of light
have served our path

and yet we do not visualize

wanting and longing
running; unceasing
always and ever lagging behind
until destruction lays its veil
upon what once seemed comfortably great

angels of earth
mountains of peace
eyes of aid
have kept our fate

and yet we do not sympathize

songs of dew
clouds of paint
whispers of dust
have lead our step

and yet we do not emphasize

wishing and hoping
bustling; unyielding
always and ever casting about
until cessation lowers its bars
upon what once seemed crucially key

Not morrow and past
not sorrow; unending
always and ever making us bend
until we lose our sacred core
should ever define the here and us

it is up to us to legitimize

Grievance of a dismayed child

Ganges

Mother dear
I know it’s age
that runs away on riverbeds

your patterned swimsuit
on my mind
I was so small and you so tall

 now I have grown into the sky
left you there on shifting sand
pebbles roll beneath your feet
and waters lick around your calves

Why does the tide not stay away?
Why do you have to drift along?
I cannot swim to rescue you
out of a lifetime’s ocean

Each creek does find the sea it needs
I learned this from the tales you’ve told
and yet how could I not foresee
that drops and people flow the same?

I’m just allowed to let you float
and send some lonely tears with you
One day my creek will follow yours
and find the ocean that you know