Dowry

surrealist_art_by_ray_caesar_5There were no shotguns

no contraception necessary

the sterile

marriage was secret

rushed through with hands in front of mouths

to spare the blush of court-house staff

unaccustomed to women without men

they looked down as if crestfallen

it was fortunate I had not enough time to purchase

a dress

for it had always been my desire

to marry barefoot with knives in my hair

carrying your child to the altar

squirming in my belly

this didn’t come to pass

squinting down lashed road

I see where I dropped myself

in the desert without my shoes

like old coinage without power of purchase

I watched the purple sky

reduce in cold boil

until amber filled horizon

night creatures stirred without sight

I didn’t have a way back

I didn’t have a way forward

this was my dowry

the sand blowing without mercy

scratching at the door

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “Dowry

  1. Oh my…this poem tells such a powerful story in so few words. I can feel the discomfort of the courthouse staff, and I am filled with curiosity to know why this woman is marrying this man in such a hush-hush, hastened fashion, if not for the traditional “shotgun” reasons. Was she destitute, in need of a husband to provide for her, to save her from homelessness? Is she just victim to a society that scorns unmarried women?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I didn’t have a way back, I didn’t have a way forward”….. In the worst of my depression, this is such a touching definition. There were days, sometimes too many strung together, where I simply “was” if that makes any sense. Unable to move, not wanting to go back if I could cause I made it this far but too petrified of the future to even envision a way forward, let alone put one foot forward. Very frightening times and hard to explain but I try so people might understand if they meet someone in such an immobile state of almost existence. Thank you so so much for sharing your gifts which never fail to touch my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew you would get this. That’s exactly right. IT is that no-man’s land or rather, a stuck place where you wish to move (even backward rather than not at all!) but sometimes despite every endeavour and good intention you just cannot, people don’t get that, they condemn you without realizing it is as bad as not having legs. I realize someone would criticize me for saying so but I stand by that. For me – unlike your experience – it is not ‘fear’ ever, but apathy. It is awful to have apathy but when you extinquish your ego and have nothing within that’s what you are left with. You are right though for many it is fear, and few will understand. I had a ‘friend’ who was bipolar, she was FAR more of a handful and Borderline with it, but she condemned depression as someone who had no understanding or empathy for mental illness which I always found really odd!

      Like

      1. Funny isn’t it? I was asked but like you, I felt it was not seriously enough. I always wondered what it ‘took’ for someone to ‘be’ the sort that would. (I must confess I find it impossible to imagine you didn’t have a plethora of suitors lining up but if that is true, then it is only because they were COMPLETELY WITHOUT TASTE)

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s