Dead Woman Smiling*

Published February 25, 2017 by kdorholt

I wrote this poem based on recent news articles of Trump’s disregard and ill-treatment of Melania. It gnaws at me. One article quoted, “She’s a dead woman smiling.” Although the poem was prompted by Melania’s situation, for me, it is reflective of the life of abused women everywhere. *The title was taken from a quote by Michelle Obama.

Fashion yourself
a womanly garden
of perfect praise
to his critical creed . . .
Take time to grow
with the glory
his regality requires . . .
(Shed your self softly)
Cultivate a countenance
as wondrous as wildflowers:
Your eyes–blue
as summer asters . . .
Your skin–lissom
as ladyslippers in the sun . . .
Your cheeks–refreshing
as noonday’s woodroses . . .
Your lips–dew-dropped
as morning’s anemone . . .
Your hair–lustrous
as light-kissed lilacs . . .
Your breath–scented sweet
as honeysuckle’s spell . . .
Believe his love is
like the Lord’s
for the lilies . . .
Caress his arm
with the grace
of lotus on a lake . . .
Tend to his glance
with the charm
of buttercup blooms . . .
Stand beside him
with the elegance
of a prized peony . . .
Bless his every wish
with the sanctity
of baby’s breath
at meadow’s edge . . .
And still . . .
this world will
wilt and wither at
“a dead woman smiling.”


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