Lady Slipper

“On those days I could still weep”

December 7, 2014

I think a lot of people who know about creativity and literature would agree with me when I say that poetry is tightly linked to expressing our emotions, our feelings.

This poem goes back to my “teeny bopper” days growing up at Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg,  then attending junior high in Grand Beach and high school in Selkirk– all Manitoba communities in Canada.

Anyone who believes growing up in a small, beach community is idyllic might get an eye opener from reading the following poem. No matter how naturally beautiful the setting is, it can still be the site of s**t happening.

Here it is:

Contemporary Verse 2

“Children” theme issue, Volume 14, No 4

Spring 1992

Lady Slipper

by Tanya Lester

This spring I went down to a cabin on Lake Winnipeg with

a bunch of women friends and we cried aloud each time we

spotted a yellow lady slipper in the underbrush, celebrated

its beauty with a chant.

When I was a kid, a teeny bopper, I knew this girl, a young woman. We were friends. She’d open her legs to any guy. Lucky them but they were too out of it to know it. She told me once there was nothing more beautiful than making love. Around the same time, she told me she had gone on the pill because she wanted to be a bad girl that summer. It’s just like that feminist academic said, my friend was seeing herself half like the guys saw her when they gang banged her, two or three at a time, in the back seat of one of their Daddy’s cars. The other half, the part about beautiful love, was her own half talking, feeling.

You know I could still weep for her even now.

Guys down by the lakes used to ride their dirt bikes over yellow lady slippers, when I was a kid. They ripped through tree branches. Crushed out, choked off, anything they sort a thought might be beautiful. Sort a thought, I say, because I don’t think they ever knew just what beauty was. THEY WOULDN’T KNOW IT IF THEY WERE FUCKING IT.

When I desire a man for the beauty sparking between us, just itching to be stroked and licked and rubbed in circles growing bigger and further apart like ripples left by a small pebble tossed into a cool, still lake and turning over and over and over…

On those days when I try to hide these feelings because I know guys think it’s bad for women to want to open their legs up — who knows?– I could even get gang banged for it.

On those days when I can’t understand for the life of me what’s wrong with a woman wanting to make beauty with someone and  just going ahead and doing it.

On those days I could still weep.

–END–

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