Sunday, August 11, 2013

not really a poem, but still

"Be that girl who never backed down."
Sounds good on paper.
Sounds fierce, but I don't know what kind of girl,
what kind of woman,
that could even be.

Never backing down is the stuff of certain mens' conversations;
you know, the ones with the flags in their back windows
just above the plastic beer coolers.

If you want love in your life,
if you want peace,
if you are wise enough to choose your battles and think,
then you must learn the art of backing down. 

There are words for those who never back down, and they aren't pretty:
bitch
blowhard
zealot
tyrant
Reverend
Grand Dragon
case #
inmate #
the Republican senator from--

Backing down doesn't mean giving up.
Those who have pissed off
the woman who prepares their food,
the woman who delivers their mail,
the woman who buys their wives' birthday gifts,
the woman whose hand rocks the cradle,
have found this out
no matter how long it took for the other shoe to drop.

Of course, there are times for not backing down.
The Sioux and Sans Arc taught this to Colonel Custer.
The women inside the Alamo,
who could have left, but chose to stay with their brave men,
demonstrated this.
There were no pop divas inside those adobe walls,

but there were willows at San Jacinto.
That's all I have to say.
_________ 





11 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

relationships certainly require compromise. maybe i shouldn't have backed down... :)

Rajesh said...

Swift is a young girl. Her songs will be different as she grows older :)

Sioux said...

"But there are willows at San Jacinto."

Beau. Ti. Ful. Truly gorgeous and so true. That tree that has feather-like "branches" can tear up pipes underground as it bends with the wind and sways with the breeze...

ellen abbott said...

be like the willow, my health care practitioner told me. willows survive the storm while oaks are uprooted. there are times though when you need to be the oak.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

And this is why we're cosmic sisters. I'm the badass (mouthy) one and you're the articulate, talented one. ;->

LaTonya Baldwin said...

And I agree, Rajesh. Swift is still a girl. A grown woman learns when to kick ass and when to leave fools standing where they are.

hedgewitch said...

Wisdom is where you find it in life, but mostly through living. This poem is rich in it. There's a tendency, especially on the internet, to fabricate nice-sounding quotes(or to plunder them from the actual thinkers of the past) for the sound of them, for the nice heft to the words, but there's more to life than slogans and bumper-stickers, and nothing is as simple between human beings as a snappy phrase can make it seem. I think there is a lot of poetry in this Shay, especially the ending.

Paul said...

"Backing down doesn't mean giving up". "Choose your battles and think".

The wisdom of these statements only becomes apparent with age or so it would seem.

mac said...

Talented and wise, you are a force not to be taken lightly :-)

Mama Zen said...

When to back down is acquired wisdom, I think.

Lolamouse said...

Another perfect Shay poem! It made me laugh; it made me nod my head in agreement; it made me think; it made me feel. How do you do it?