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The Woman in the Ring


The Dakota Access Pipeline protests dominate the news, and the images that accompany these news stories are striking and vivid. Hence the inspiration for this poem, published in Tuck Magazine:

The Woman in the

Ring

was clearly celebrating

something.

Life. Or the abdication of

care.

To my eight year old

eyes

she was glorious, a

rainbow

swathed in chieftain

feathers,

a glistening Santa Fe

turquoise

nestled in the silver

filigree

of her throat’s dusky

hollow.

When she laughed her bright teeth

moonbeamed from her brown mouth but

my mama said I must be dreaming.

When she swirled her frayed skirts

frolicked with her shining calves but

my mama said it was time to grow up.

When she beckoned with a crooked finger

cracked long ago by the rage of a large man

my mama said stop yo’ nonsense now

I was in thrall to the

cottony dread-

locks snaking down her bony back

wrapped in a gleaming

band of sun-

shine, to the glint of gold

peeping between

her tinseled toe-

nails, and I never noticed

the blackened fissures

of her cracked heel, or her

scabby pale palm,

or our matching meta-

skin.

©2016 by Deborah Kahan Kolb. Proudly created with Wix.com