Ntozake Shange

Trenton, New Jersey
Ntozake Shange
Trenton, New Jersey
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With No Immediate Cause

Rating: 3.8
every 3 minutes a woman is beaten
every five minutes a
woman is raped/every ten minutes
a lil girl is molested
yet i rode the subway today
i sat next to an old man who
may have beaten his old wife
3 minutes ago or 3 days/30 years ago
he might have sodomized his
daughter but i sat there
cuz the young men on the train
might beat some young women
later in the day or tomorrow
i might not shut my door fast
every 3 minutes it happens
some woman's innocence
rushes to her cheeks/pours from her mouth
like the betsy wetsy dolls have been torn
apart/their mouths
menses red & split/every
three minutes a shoulder
is jammed through plaster and the oven door/
chairs push thru the rib cage/hot water or
boiling sperm decorate her body
i rode the subway today
& bought a paper from a
man who might
have held his old lady onto
a hot pressing iron/i don't know
maybe he catches lil girls in the
park & rips open their behinds
with steel rods/i can't decide
what he might have done i only
know every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes every 10 minutes/so
i bought the paper
looking for the announcement
the discovery/of the dismembered
woman's body/the
victims have not all been
identified/today they are
naked and dead/refuse to
testify/one girl out of 10's not
coherent/i took the coffee
& spit it up/i found an
announcement/not the woman's
bloated body in the river/floating
not the child bleeding in the
59th street corridor/not the baby
broken on the floor/
there is some concern
that alleged battered women
might start to murder their
husbands & lovers with no
immediate cause'

i spit up i vomit i am screaming
we all have immediate cause
every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes
every 10 minutes
every day
women's bodies are found
in alleys & bedrooms/at the top of the stairs
before i ride the subway/buy a paper/drink
coffee/i must know/
have you hurt a woman today
did you beat a woman today
throw a child across a room
are the lil girl's panties
in yr pocket

did you hurt a woman today
i have to ask these obscene questions
the authorities require me to
establish
immediate cause
every three minutes
every five minutes
every ten minutes
every day.
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COMMENTS
Sylvia Frances Chan 05 June 2020
2) ..............CONGRATULATIONS with the honour of being The Modern Poem Of The Day. You are amazing in appealing these alerts. BUT think also there are enough MEN who suffer under a women's beatings. Your poem is true and excellently worded, dear great Poetess! Best wishes from the Netherlands, Sylvia FC Peace to you.
0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 05 June 2020
True to the bones Poetic Alerts. I cite your last lines here, dear Poetess: did you hurt a woman today i have to ask these obscene questions the authorities require me to establish immediate cause every three minutes every five minutes every ten minutes every day..................................YOU are a true good feminist and all honest and true words.
0 0 Reply
You are Rock 05 June 2020
gut wrenching and disturbing
0 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 05 June 2020
did you hurt a woman today i have to ask these obscene questions the authorities require me to establish immediate cause every three minutes every five minutes.....sensitice inscription. Beautiful poem.
0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 05 June 2020
torture torture torture woman tortured by man everywhere, every minute, hour, day, week, month.... so touching poem this is...... woman has to wake up and be well informed about own rights....and has to be total independent from the cruel clutch of man......10++
1 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 05 June 2020
did you hurt a woman today i have to ask these obscene questions the authorities require me to establish immediate cause.. very fine poem. tony
1 0 Reply
James G Brennan 05 June 2020
The awful truth in a mans world. powerful sad poem.
1 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 22 October 2019
A poignant rendition of words set aside for sober reflection.
0 1 Reply
A B Faniki 21 July 2019
Insightful piece. Thanks for spreading the wealth- Knowledge is wealth.
1 0 Reply
Kevin Patrick 05 June 2019
In Canada the commission for missing aboriginal women has declared that a genocide has been committed, this poem is as relevant now as it was written. That is the true horror.
0 1 Reply

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