I found out that I was really a woman at age thirteen and Lord knows I resented the fact. Being a woman took me into a realm of restrictions and rules I did not care to keep.

Rule number one: You can’t play cricket with the boys anymore on certain days.
Rule number two: Do not climb any trees unless you are wearing slacks.
Rule number three: Do not climb trees anymore
Rule number four: Do not allow yourself to be touched by anything male, anywhere, anytime for any reason.
Rule number five: You may not go gallivanting over the hills and vales nor in the gully where the ripe plums are, anymore.

I was now woman. One could hear me roaring with anger as these rules were given me by my parents as dictated by my mother.


THE ONSET.mystery

And so I entered this vale of misery and great discontent. I was now walking like a cowboy conscious of the woman thing between my legs. Every step I took was a reminder that I was now a woman. The pain I felt compounded my feminine mystique. I had arrived in hell.

My devoted followers could not comprehend why I had suddenly turned into a brooding hermit. All that was seen of me, was my head through my bedroom window as I watched the clouds float by changing shapes.

My mother said my shape would soon be changing as I became more of a woman.

I looked in the mirror.  I saw no shape worthy to be called a woman. I still had the outline of a mantis; arms legs, and two almond-shaped eyes. More Alien than woman.

She insisted that it was a done thing. When I protested that I didn’t wish to be a woman, could she intervene; no she couldn’t, she said, as she left me seated cross-legged on her bureau as I threatened to jump off and kill myself. She asked me not to break the hand mirror when I jumped because it was her mother’s. I did not understand her humor, or was it?

Reluctantly I went with the flow as I brooded and fumed. In the seventeenth year of my curse, one day Barry, a former gully raider came by and he looked at me in ‘hushed tones’, I realized instinctively that I had developed a certain verve that was distinctly me and that I could turn it on or off as I pleased. My wiles had arrived to join my muses.  

As soon as he took his homework and left looking bewildered, (I was in the habit of doing other people’s homework) I went back to the wonder mirror to have another look. To my surprise, although I still had the outlook of a mannequin, my lips and cheek bones had taken on a certain sultriness which I immediately associated with the wiles. I smiled seductively and walked away with the feeling of warm wine on my parted lips.
I had arrived in heaven.  The rules by now began to seem somehow worthwhile, except for rule number five which made no dam sense, I loved those red plums especially when stewed. But, mother was God and she had a wicked left arm that baseball folks would kill for.

I am a woman, I preened.  Yes. This is good!!

The next Summer Barry said that I should be his girlfriend but my parents whisked me away to the University of the West Indies.

Mother knows best.  I saved my wiles for Kingsley and Alan; we traveled in a pack which contained my wiles wisely.  I decide to turn them off and focus on my studies.

God is good. Being a woman today? I am not so sure.


Lmh. 10/0816

2 thoughts on “ON BEING FEMININE.

  1. From my latest book:


    So much hidden power, so magic the presence,
    A beginning acquaintance to grow into more.
    Few little reveals are found in her essence,
    But that’s just the start to something demure.

    With sculpted appeal and grace in her lines
    She speaks to the artist and architect.
    Her deftness of voice, her movement in time
    Can inspire desire with no disrespect.

    The hourglass shapes all the time to be had
    Until the fine sands flow out of her form.
    Then not in the least are predictions as sad
    As knowledge that change is always the norm.

    Forestalling that day for as long as you can,
    Breath in her being from morning to night.
    And not for granted may you take her hand
    As she fills yours with reason to write.

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