Eyes Wide Shut – A Poem

Eyes Wide Shut – A Poem

In the tradition of women in my heritage
I did all I could to hide—
red hair dyed black, green eyes dulled,
mouth pursed, cheeks pinched,
balled fists turning to bruise.
Pretended I couldn’t see in the dark,
in the night, in the light—
through people; away, above, beyond.

The afterlife didn’t exist, neither ghosts
nor spirits. The supernatural,
a delusion. The paranormal,
an illusion. No visitations, no hauntings,
no hand holdings, no harassing.
A moot’s throw away in my mind’s eye.

Just hide it.
Just close your eyes and pretend.
To know.

Dad came down hard on me, perhaps it was
karma. Exorcised by a preacher;
told to beg for forgiveness for my sins.
Told to keep my face clean,
my eyes free—
sins of man, not of woman, I knew.

But sins of woman, I was told.
Woman sins, those women types that
can see things they shouldn’t—
poking around in other people’s business,
(mostly men’s business), meddling, messing up,
where they don’t belong.

Just hide it.
Just close your eyes and pretend.
To know.

But my eyes kept flying open, all the same.
I tried to live with eyes wide shut.


May 12, 2019


About This Poem

I, like tens of thousands of women, was punished and persecuted because I was born “knowing.” How to live in a world where is isn’t safe to see, yet it’s our “seeing” that’s needed most?

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