I have a truth to tell about last month. It was a disaster–you already know April is a cruel month dear-reader. But for a poetry fanatic like me, it was an utmost disaster, with bits of poems sprinkled on random sheets of paper and some words refusing to stick on any page.
I won’t even be spending my weekend with DC’s second annual Louder Than a Bomb high school poetry performance competition. I had no idea the first one even happened, which goes to show you how fickle my love for poetry must be. Now, it isn’t that I think less of poetry. Truth be told, in a parallel universe, I am still in high school–where Poetry Out Loud and Louder Than a Bomb welcome me.
Right now, I am old. Old in the sense that I don’t need to be told that poetry can and will channel whatever troubles float through my head. And old in the sense that I have to take poetry seriously–it’s not always about my therapy. I have to remind myself: above all, Claudia is an academic, a future educator. It is because I’m such a fantastic academic that I am spending the weekend studying the things I really love… things like precalculus and sarcasm.
So, to start May on the right foot…
Poem of Womanhood
Momma used to say only grown women
wear make-up, and I would stare,
seeing little girls playing pretend:
their eyelids stealing strips of the rainbow
with pinks sprayed on their cheekbones,
and their eyelashes sprinkling desire
their lips coated in red, which so easily turned into hatred.
Momma used to say being a woman meant being chased.
I demurred and resolved to never play tag again
or parade my face in cosmetics…
until keeping my word was no longer a choice,
and I found the occasional necessity
to wear my smile with the softest of lips
and to conceal the pink in my cheeks
to keep secret that I was holding my breath
that my heart turned into drums when I woke,
and I could no longer deny that I was in love,
doomed to be crushed and be second class
to a lover aware of my insignificance.
With a blush of my cheeks I had confessed
I love this volatile existence,
even though Momma always says,
the truth about Life is that it behaves like most men–
out to capture hearts for breaking
and the strongest of sufferings is the sting of love,
but I believe if I love honestly, madly enough
Life will crumble at my humbleness,
refuse to see me as child, daughter, woman,
or could-be mother, but as an equal (and a fool).