Monday, April 28, 2014

Isabel's Lesson

I was not much older than my daughter
is now, a mere twenty-something girl
who thought she knew much about the world
jaded by all she had already seen
and experienced in her short life.

The book was magical, I thought
as I read it, wondering as I plowed
through deep and shallow fields
of fertile text whether the work
relied upon the silvery Latin tongue
of its beautiful authoress,
or if its perfumed prose owed its
charms to the work of translation.

One line read then was a throw-away,
an old man's passing observation of
women's role in his life.

As a young feminist fed up
with older males pestering me
for a taste, a bite,
some part of my youth
to restore their own vigor
as if I was a talisman,
a magic peach imbued with youth,
I discounted the author's voice
speaking through
the old man who used women.

Now I am an older woman myself
long paired to a now-older man
who both loved women and
utilized them in this life, gifted with a
daughter who has dealt likewise met
men asking for a bit of herself
to ward off the inevitable.
She was less jaded, better prepared
by our long, late night chats
about the nature of hungry men
and their tasty but harried mates.

I will not tell her what I have
finally realized these long years later
about the magical words depicting
the old man who used and loved
the women in his life.
She will learn for herself what
I know is not magic but truth:
The man who loves her far into the future
will rely upon her generosity
to remain the man he yet believes
himself to be.
Her kindness will be magic.

Copyright 2014 Femme Malheureuse
@ApparatusMag #NaPoMo 2014 Prompt 28
Graphic: Martin Gommel via Flickr

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