English poetry

Poems in English


Womanhood

She slides over
The hot upholstery
Of her mother’s car,
This schoolgirl of fifteen
Who loves humming & swaying
With the radio.
Her entry into womanhood
Will be like all the other girls’-
A cigarette and a joke,
As she strides up with the rest
To a brick factory
Where she’ll sew rag rugs
From textile strips of kelly green,
Bright red, aqua.

When she enters,
And the millgate closes,
Final as a slap,
There’ll be silence.
She’ll see fifteen high windows
Cemented over to cut out light.
Inside, a constant, deafening noise
And warm air smelling of oil,
The shifts continuing on…
All day she’ll guide cloth along a line
Of whirring needles, her arms & shoulders
Rocking back & forth
With the machines-
200 porch size rugs behind her
Before she can stop
To reach up, like her mother,
And pick the lint
Out of her hair.

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Poem Womanhood - Catherine Anderson