To Be a Good Woman

by Aaron Blair

He holds out a hand to me,
a dark black claw, volcano rock,
clutching, and I want to run
away. What is love, besides
some ghost story they tell you,
a way to frighten little girls
into never wanting to be alone?
But I take his hand. It is cold,
yet it burns, and the pain hardens
me. I'll be a better woman
after this, better if I'm still
any kind of woman at all.


Author's Note: Written for a writing.com slam prompt. I'm judging this time, so this is only a demonstration poem, not a competitive poem. Stole the title from a Cat Power song.

Posted on 07/06/2004
Copyright © 2024 Aaron Blair

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Laura Doom on 07/07/04 at 10:17 PM

Short and bitter-sweet - very effective. Not sure about Sarah's suggestion or what you intended by the line - volcanic sounds historic, even cold; volcano offers an impression of latent heat, and the inherent contrast between 'volcano' and 'rock' seems to reflect the hand - 'cold, yet it burns'...'volcanic' is grammatically correct, but 'volcano' paints a more accurate picture? Have to agree on the favourites thing though.

Posted by Indigo Tempesta on 07/08/04 at 06:34 PM

this is fantastic, shows amazingly well the influence over women that men and society have. and powerful, just a very powerful piece with great images and diction. thanks.

Posted by Nicole D Gregory on 07/09/04 at 01:03 AM

If I could pick myself up off the floor... GOSH!... WOW!!!... AMAZING!!!... It terrified me, it sent my head reeling and attached meaning to some of the aspects of what I have been through and a live with... So VERY well done!!! Elegant... absolutely elegant... ~N

Posted by Kristine Briese on 07/09/04 at 02:28 AM

Dear God, Aaron. "some ghost story they tell you". Knock me over with a feather.

Posted by Maureen Glaude on 07/09/04 at 01:12 PM

I don't know much about slam, but I found this very powerful and parts of it I've had moments in life when I can sure relate. Fortunately, it's not always that dark, but definitely valid feelings at times. Well done.

Posted by Kalikala Smith on 07/09/04 at 02:24 PM

on my favorites list:)

Posted by Agnes Eva on 07/09/04 at 11:02 PM

good one. a wry smile for your little girls line

Posted by Mara Meade on 07/11/04 at 10:07 PM

I just slipped this onto my "favourites" list. I can't think of anything else to say.

Posted by Vere Mantratriad on 07/23/06 at 01:41 PM

"What is love, besides some ghost story they tell you, a way to frighten little girls into never wanting to be alone?" Best lines I've read so far today. I can see why this is on so many people's favorites lists...it's certainly going on mine.

Posted by Angela Stevens on 07/22/11 at 03:33 AM

'some ghost story they tell you' I have to agree with other comments, this is something rare and great.

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