The preserve of her emotions

Get up.

When you were ten, your body was a springboard

You bent in the wind, dashing forward.

Get up.

When did you start to believe otherwise?

With the coming of stiff mornings and anxiety in your belly?

As life crept nearer to unknown trials?

When did you give up believing?

You could again, hold the Fates cupped in your hand

And blow to scatter, seed to four corners.

Get up.

The white sheet, covers a multitude of unsaid

An imprint of the living, breathing, fear of mankind.

She appears to be a well behaved woman, with hair needing to be trimmed

But like a cake of many layers, the face fit for public consumption, is just wet paint.

If it was acceptable, she’d grab the quiet man, stooping to take her vitals

And craw in his ear, the gravy of her distress.

What would she say? That has not been said before? Who would care? In an ever-ready world powered by rhetoric?

When she was eighteen, she could command attention just by crossing her legs or flashing her eyes

But what a dismal game that felt, a fraud of poker and thighs.

They only paid her heed due to the bewitchment of youth and some promise it told their nether regions.

So often she’d mistaken lust and hunger for love and care

But they were no more than empty vessels, wishing to dock briefly in her harbor.

Her game, if it was one … of fishing for favor, a warm body, a pretend consolation

Left her desolate, like an addict without pipe

All her fancy, dried up and rotten in the artifice of it all.

And then she’d tripped over that invisible and superficial line

From youth, to something men did not wish to define and women morned.

She however, felt relief.

Not to be the party planner, proving her game was fitting in

It was gentler to command less and need no filling or straight flush

Though they say a woman’s worth, must be found in herself

For her sell-by-date leaves her invisible to the world.

And that was true. She did no longer

Turn heads or find men leant in, too close

Instead she was a ghost, haunting the specter of herself

Unsure why she claimed purchase on earth anymore.

It was as if the mic had been turned off

And everyone left the room

For the audition of younger models next door.

She was not a mother and could not connect

With married women who worried their husbands would stray, with downy cheeked baby sitter.

Nor was she eager to fill her face with plastic, just to feel a little of what she’d lost

(Why was it a loss?)

There seemed no path cut out for castaways of normal

No clear direction to take, on the other side of age.

Men … they remained mostly unchanged

Still harboring the illusions of youth, with rapidly balding heads and expanding guts

She felt so much … but who now wanted to hear her words?

Where was an audience for silver haired creatures of Artemis?

If she’d been an owl, she’d have screeched at night

And people would have woken and said; Goodness, that sounds like murder!

Such was her need to share

The preserve of her emotion.

So get up.

Though it has been long since you hopped on one foot

Or worn brightly colored hats, just because you could

And not, for the fondle of admirations dusty nod

But the sheer delight of being at last

A woman of substance.


36 thoughts on “The preserve of her emotions

  1. What a great look on a woman’s life, aging and pain and disability and the motivation to move, and the perceptions of beauty in our society or the female role and your ideas and thoughts on that in the eyes of men and their desire… What a great poem.

  2. A powerful description of the stages of womanhood, Candace. You are, indeed, a woman of depth and substance, with a precious gift for bringing people inside of the feelings you paint so eloquently.

  3. Thank you so much dear Carol. It wasn’t so much autobiographical as maybe a summation of my thoughts on the subject, I am very glad you liked it. thank you for reading and for being such a valued friend on WP

  4. Thank you so much Meg! I tried to encapsulate what women feel as they age, and I hope I got somewhere close to the truth. We must be strong in believing in more than the flippery of before. Thank you again for reading this and your support xo

  5. Thank you so much! I really am grateful to you for reading and commenting. The motivation to move is exactly it. Of course many men are not as flippant or cavalier πŸ™‚ (thank you again)

  6. It’s perfect. I’ve entered my 50’s and so I completely relate. Women judged so differently than men. I’m glad to know you, dear Candice!

  7. Definite double-standard, perpetuated by the media, society en mass and women against other women as well as men. We can be the change we want to see πŸ™‚ Very glad to know you also my friend

  8. What’s this business?! 😊 You don’t have to thank me for that, but just the same, you are most welcome. I hope today was MUCH better for you.

  9. This is so, so, wisely powerful. Of all the images here this one grabs me most: “they were no more than empty vessels, wishing to dock briefly in her harbor.” It is so awful. Your chosen picture took me back to May 1977 when these three young women walking in N.W. London asked me to take their photograph:/Users/derrickjknight/Desktop/Three black giris 5.77.jpg

  10. I’m sorry – the link above takes you to pages of images that are nothing to do with mine.

    This one seems to work:


  11. Resonating with so much of this. Another wonderful write, filled with accurate observations. You captured it well, Candice.
    Hope you’re having some good days. (Sorry I haven’t emailed…. been running on empty lately…. I know you understand. ) πŸ’•

  12. I do. And I wish you better days. Incidentally, have you ever seen the film Running On Empty? Quite good. I finally went to the post office my apologies! But you write so beautifully even on those empied days so that is a resilience my friend πŸ’“

  13. Haven’t seen that movie that I remember. Will look it up! Thanks always for your kind words, Candice. Am looking forward to your book. We’ll see how long the post office takes coming in this direction. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having more better days now that your latest doctor has things figured out. πŸ’•

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