These Women

by Padmore Agbemabiese

"The Lord will watch over your
coming and going, both now and forevermore." 

 Psalm 121:8

(for her on village lanes)

that woman standing over there
alone this dawn, always awake in fields
where only weeds survive

that woman, these women with hairs burned
they too have known many dreams
sang many songs unknown to Handle

I mean, these women
holding to broken pieces of dreams
lets call them, mothers

these women

some weave clothes
some bake bread
some spin yarn
some make potteries
and balance the pots on their heads
just to bring a meal home

what essence of beauty do these not hide?

they turn the bowels of the earth
to make every head be filled
with wishes and dreams

don't they need more than teddy bears?

on farms miles away from town
they make the prairies flower
even in the cold chilly winter
why can't rain come to them
from your salt sea wind?
I can still hear their voices
these women with wrinkles on their faces
walking on deserted streets of minds
they bequeath to me the loss
of their dreams, to be dancers
to avenge discomforts in springs

how I wish our thread of tears
will nourish our laments to run
impossibly deep to keep fresh
memories of their willingness to die

yet, in a valley not too far from here
is a lone grave of a grandmother
only broken pots and mixed clay
mark where her head lay

how I wish, blessed will be memories
of many, whose spirits refused to die
and like wind-blown-autumn-flowers 
stood still in the rubble 

can temples and shrines rise like towers
and pavements see slabs for these fallen heroes?
or did their high deeds not open the joy
of songs in a world that came crushing down
like walls at where they stood?

these women, these men
what shall we build in the upper room
of hearts beyond political tears from our eyes?

These Women by Padmore Agbemabiese

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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