Murmur, sigh, keep it soft as a female
should. For a strong woman never loses
to pain, she builds a steel bridge
that must always, finally carry her to the safety
of overcoming. So when an invisible stake,
dipped in the miserable malevolence of bad luck,
a fi har time, better luck next time or what an ass
to deal with a man like that; when it ravages a cruel
hole through the most tender part of caring for a lout –the heart, indeed, the woman must never cry.
If she cries, she is unworthy. Worse,
if she weeps in his presence, she is a failure.
She has failed at being a wife, a life partner
because her weakness has shown itself.
No man wants a fragile woman. Or so he said.
My mother never cried…in front of me.
As the grief of losing her mother consumed her,
she became thin and unfocused. An experienced cook,
yet she beat the lid of a pressure cooker til it
savagely relented on her chest. And still, no tears;
only shame. Because she should have known better.
Well, I cried for my mother. And my grandmother.
And myself. So if the world don’t want a crying woman,
I will reinvent the world in my head. I will softly, gentlystroke the nape of my neck and say, it’s ok. You can cry.