Fulani Woman, Liberian Woman

I am an occasional poet. Unexpectedly, stanzas flow from my brain, to my hand, to the keyboard. I took a poetry class recently that helped me create these two pieces that I want to share with you. Both reflect stories written in my memoir. The first poem of Fulani Woman helped to write the second one, Liberian Woman. The word strength was the connection.

Fulani Woman

55 pounds of pure deep red mahogany
Born from a tree trunk and
Crafted by a Malian wood carver,
I carried Fulani Woman carefully
On the plane from Liberia.
She did not wear a seat belt.
A camel hair blanket protected her.
She rested at the bottom of my
feet during the 14-hour ride.

The bare-breasted, life-sized bust
Of Fulani Woman wore nothing
But a beaded necklace.
A coiffed, plaited cockscomb of hair
stood five inches above her head.
A band of silver coins lined her
Forehead and draped around the back.
She is regal
…………..I am humbled
………………………..Honored to have her.

Now resting in a prominent
Place in my home
Fulani Woman emanates
The essence of Grace,
…………………………….Elegance,
……………………………………..and Strength of
All African Women.


Liberian Woman


Liberian Woman emanated
Pure strength as she
Walked by me every day.
I observed her for two years
In our village of Zorgowee.
Could I be that strong
To bear
………….12 children,
…………………..only 5 living?
Each breastfed until
Her next pregnancy.

Liberian Woman delivered
her babies on an earthen floor.
Risked her life with multiple
Pregnancies while carrying
Firewood or buckets of water
On her head. Tilled the
Fields with one baby on her
Back and one in her belly.


Liberian Woman was one
of three wives and a mistress.
I don’t think I could do it.
She didn’t have a choice.
Her life in Zorgowee
Was destined.
I did my best as a
Peace Corps health volunteer
to help Liberian Woman
To live
………….prosper
…………………..and be healthy.

4 thoughts on “Fulani Woman, Liberian Woman

  1. Dear Gowee,

    I especially love Liberian Woman. It touched my heart with its glaring, stark truths and reality. At the end of the day, what we all did, isn’t it. So beautifully said.

    Love & Hugs, Phillip

    Phillip DeSautell

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Phil, I think Liberian woman will resonate with many of us who lived there. There’s no stronger woman then one who lives in Africa. Thank you for your supportive comments.

    Like

  3. The photograph of the Liberian woman is one of your most beautiful Susan, and having the beautiful poem as its companion just adds to it. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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