Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Woman's Suffrage (For Janie)

"Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things" -- Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

Why woman, do you not weep?, he asks....

Women are born when
dreams die, or so it's been said
mothers formed from dust
we strike our foot to the hoe
where girlhood fell
like a loose pearl
or Jack's bean

Girls plant slender feet into hard times
trying desperately to make something grow
But it is women who
till the line
until fall

Girls want the
the right
to have their say counted
Women long for
the right to

Eve, the mother
of all others
Covets tall dreams surrendered
to omnivorous armies
that eat everything

Yet God gave her
the seed
to crush
the snake,
and peal the skin
to protect the labor
of men

but then,

it is always a bad crop
a hard season
a course word
the wrong dress
she smiles

Girls mourn in black
but women
wear white

can out

and fewer
can tell

Why woman, do you not weep?

So many other things have happened to me since then
so many other things.....

I have surrendered all things
I have surrendered all things
except me

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