The Woman You Don’t See

I am the woman you don’t see
Or at least the woman you don’t see today,
There have been other women
On other days
That you didn’t see either.

You haven’t seen in us,
The gifts we bring,

Haven’t seen,
The time,
And talk,
And caring,

Haven’t seen
The level companionship
Of another traveler,
Beside you
But on another quest
Of her own.

Instead you see us
As a font along the roadside,
As a well,
Even perhaps forbidden
And yet,
Placed in the oasis
For no other reason
Then to slake your thirst,

The crux of it,
The irony
Is that,
In your eyes
We are a well,
Without generosity,
A well,
Willfully rationed,
Wantonly withheld,

And so you beg from us,
Demand from us,
Ask from us,
The elixir,
That bubbles from our earth,
Plead for the sacred flow
That you’ve craved since birth

But that you couldn’t receive
Even from the one woman
Who might have soothed
Your need,

And so you ask all of us
To be strong for you,
To service you
In ways obvious,
In ways invisible,

You ask us,
To pour ourselves
Into you
Unceasingly,

With us
Never able to hope
For you
To be filled.

And,
Even in this century,
Even after everything
And nothing
Has changed,
You ask us
To fly under your radar,
To act the weaker sex,
All the while
Also asking us
To do
What is yours alone
To do,

Asking us
To give you
Possession of yourself,
Asking us
To imbue you with the power
You should have grown
For yourself all along

And now,
It is I,
Here in front of you
Today,
And you ask this,
Today,
From me,

And even still,
After all this time,
You see in me,
Not the gifts I offer
But instead,
You see the same things
You’ve tried to squeeze
From every other woman,
From every other relationship,
Things that I
That we
Cannot give,

And regardless,
In your desperation,
You bring
Your ignorance,
Your indignance,
Your extortion,
To bear,
To extract
That which you’ve never
Been able even to sip

Continuing the effort
Ineffectual,
Impotent,
But familiar,
Because it’s all you know,
Because it’s all you see.

And I don’t want to leave you,
Don’t want to abandoned
This beautiful friendship
That could be,

But if I am to stay,

You must endeavor
To see me,
Clearly,
Must stop insisting
That it is I
Or any other living person,
Who tends this well for you,

You must drop the scales from your eyes
And start again,
Must approach your oasis,
Along a different road,

Must work
And learn,
To see me truly
To see me
Not as the life-giving destination
Toward which you trudge,
Me,
Only as one
Who walks beside you
In the desert,

More important still,
You must start to see yourself
As the minder of your well.

©2019 Annette Meserve

8 thoughts on “The Woman You Don’t See

  1. ramakrishna89blog says:

    I think my favourite line was, ‘that which you ‘ve never been able to sip.’

    Such consumerism and fast living my men’s wills these days. Taking and taking without pause for replenishing.

    • annette48 says:

      Thanks Ed! All is well and, yes, I’ve been writing! …or mostly rewriting, working hard on the novel to get it into shape for publishing. Just recently, I’ve declared it so and am now in the process of researching and pitching agents…. SCAREY!!!!!! 🙂 Hope all is well with you too!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Powerful piece. It gives voice to a feeling that has been impossible for me to articulate in words, but felt my whole life. As I prepare for the 2019 women’s march I will carry this with me. Thanks for your wordsmith skills.

    • annette48 says:

      Wow! Thanks for your comment! It means so much that my words can touch another’s heart and experience. Hope your woman’s march in your city was a rewarding experience!

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s