Linda Hasselstrom

Rookie (1943 / Texas)

The Only Place - Poem by Linda Hasselstrom

The only place a woman can go to be alone
is the bathroom.
A woman would like to be wrapped in strong arms
when she cries, without having to explain,
or huddle on the couch wrapped in a blanket and a cat.
But all over America, women crouch instead
on a white, cold monument to wasting water.
We lean against a chilled tile wall,
stare at ourselves in an icy mirror,
flush the toilet to cover howls and curses,
brush our teeth twice to cover the taste of anger.
We lock the door, fill the tub with hot bubbles,
take a long time shaving our legs and armpits,
study the way waves break over bulging stomachs.
We scour the sink and rearrange the bottles under it,
refold towels, throw away old prescriptions,
count bandaids and bottles of suntan lotion.
We turn out the lights, stare into candle flames,
light incense, try to pretend we’ve taken our troubles
to a glowing temple, placed them in the lap
of a smiling golden Goddess.

Outside, men - who wouldn’t know what to do
if a woman curled up in a bed and cried -
can relax before bloodless images on TV
and think, “She’s only in the bathroom
doing some woman’s thing.”
Behind a locked door, a woman
spins the empty toilet paper roll
like a Tibetan prayer wheel,
chanting, “Help me, help me, help me.”

Linda Hasselstrom


Comments about The Only Place by Linda Hasselstrom

  • (11/12/2008 1:10:00 AM)

    Its a poem written by Linda Hasselstrom that I felt necessary to be on here. Its a beautiful poem that I can relate to so much. I love this poem so much and there isnt enough on here by this person (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/11/2008 10:59:00 PM)

    OH did you write this so acuratly! ! I have done that many times myself, the descripton of looking in the mirror really hit home.... So very good and filled with much truth.....

    Bonnie
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]