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Boast, Woman...

Cat Lyons
copyright © 1999; Cat Lyons, USA

            Boast,woman,of how
                  great you are,
                  or could have been
            had you had
                  my advantages--
            violence and poverty,
            cruel abuse,
            sadistic husbands,
               a haunted youth,
                  lost in visions,
                     mad with truth;
            working in fields
               for a dollar a day
            wild in the country,
               as a changeling child,
            lost in libraries,
               books and poems--
            friendless and lonely,
               never understood
                 by lovers or strangers
                   or those who stood
               high and righteous
                 in others men's eyes--
            lost and lonely,hated,reviled,
               cursed and criticized,
                  beaten and
            object of scorn,derision,
            object of fun if the night's
                  a bust--
            torn by passions so
                  fierce and wild
                       I tore the skin
                          from my arms
                            as a child
               to ease the pain
                   of the loss inside
               when I found the one
                   that I loved had lied
               Torn by hurricanes
                  of terror and fear,
               firestorms of fury,
               unleashed on those near,
                 violent rages at
                    promises broken,
                 (love meant to last
                     called only a token
                       of what could
                          be real between
                            woman and man);
              children taken
                  for rich men's wives,
                    far too beautiful
                  for the lives
                    of the poor who work
                       at what they find,
                  no matter how brilliant
                        and gifted in mind;
              tell me the story,
                  oh, woman of worth,
                    born to riches,
                       power and fame--
              how you could write this
                 just the same,
                   if you'd had the time
                      or perhaps the desire,
              or just the right lover
                 to inspire
               true love and divine desire
               that might forge in 
            		poetry's raging fires
                   far better creations
                        than I give birth,
                (pardon me, please won't you 
            		pass the Perth).
              You've taken the man
                   I'd have died to keep--
                here, go ahead, take my work
                      as well;
              while I'm starved and homeless,
                   consigned to hell,
                without a roof
                    under which to dwell.
              Remember when
                 you claim these rhymes
              (which you could 
                 do better, and will, of course)
                    that those who labor
                      to build you ease,
                         who harvest the crops,
                         and dig in the mines,
                         weave in the mills
                         and fish the seas,
                            or beg their bread 
                              in welfare lines,
                            (while you eat crab
                                salad on silver tines),
                that men have died
                    to write like this,
                and you will never
                    taste the bliss
                       creation brings
                          to those who toil--
                ashes and rust are the victor's spoil.
copyright 1999 Cat Lyons, USA

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