Red Woman

~A poem~

“Women who have had too many men get a crazy look in their eyes.”

This is what my father told me.

And I said to him, “What is too many?”

“Women who have had too many men become old Redwood trees,” he said.

I replied, “Redwood trees are the most magnificent, the most resilient, and the most wise.”

“You’re so pretty. You’re so young and so pretty.”

This is what my mother told me.

And I said to her, “Thank you. But I feel old.”

She said, “You can do anything you want. You can have the whole world.”

I replied, “Why would I want the whole world? I just want a piece.”

My father said, “Redwood Trees have been touched by and seen by so many.”

I replied, “Redwood Trees have given shelter and shade and life to so many.”

Mother said, “You’re so young and so pretty. You can have the whole world.”

And I said, “Alright. I’ll take it.”

The world said, “Cross your legs, pretty girl. Cover that shoulder. Chew quietly. Be a lady. Don’t ask for trouble.”

I said to the world, “I am a lady. And I am trouble.”

There was magnificent silence after that.