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

0 Replies to “Dowry”

  1. Well done, the sterility and lack of love came through. The “knifes in the hair” was very original imagery. P.S. I received book #1 yesterday in the mail, can’t wait to dive in.

  2. 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?

    1. Dearest Jupiter girl, thank you so much! I so appreciate your words! You absolutely got it with your last interpretation! Except it was a girl marrying another girl – aside that you’re on the money!

  3. “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.

    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!

    1. For our gen, marriage is less important than for later gens, it has value though maybe in the urge someone has to marry someone and what that could mean, though I would say it is no guarantee I childishly hanker for it!

        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)

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