Woman Poem by Adora Williams


As a 21st Century woman, I saw the women of my generation be demonised
Thoughts from the last dark ages still hovering around
Of how things should be, strictly, for us women
Even after over a century of feminist movements
Even after they said feminism wasn't needed anymore

I had a friend, a lesbian, who found herself a man
Not to be put out from her parent's house
Her mom was as cruel as mine, I would say
She disgusted her boyfriend and everyone suffered
She had suicidal thoughts all the time
Until she found herself a lady she liked
And they, together, never came out of the closet

I wish I could say I suffered more than she did
That at least I had a way out
But we never do

If I wasn't as tough as a woman could be,
If I wasn't too proud of walking naked and opening
The curtains of my living room's balcony
I would have killed myself already

I'm not a lesbian and I have been called a whore and worse
By my mother, the whole family, the school teacher I blew after class
My school mates who were also young — but unconscious — girls
A professor from college when I walked in in a black tight dress (it wasn't even short)
Innocuous jokes from friends,
Then my very students when I became a teacher,
My neighbouress when my last boyfriend broke my china
My last boyfriend's secretary who is a woman much younger than me
The bookshop clerk who calls himself a good man of God
My youngest cousin whose upbringing I played a big role in and who is my student now
One of my closest girlfriends who took my last boyfriend's side

Because I shouldn't express my sexuality in any way
I should be good so a good man would show up, say yes and be his wife
I'm not allowed to be myself. I'm a woman and that's a woman's place.

I reiterate
I don't care, I am free

But I am not
And those reiterations are lies like the culture
We live under
They fall asleep when I doubt my strength
My heart cracks
Begin to lose the patches I had to mend myself

And I try. I try not to dress myself in white to my feet
And suffer the same fate as the Queen of the Night
Every time the sun approaches

Friday, May 13, 2022
Topic(s) of this poem: woman,feminism,society
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