Issue 10.3 – Poetry

Issue 10 - Poetry (2)

Yesterday morning I saw a woman

Behind the walls and the shining armour

I saw a woman behind the costume

Of superwoman behind the

Uniform of the captain who

has it all under control who

has it all figured out

Yesterday morning I saw a woman.


Yesterday morning I saw a woman

And I felt I had seen her before

I had seen her before when

She was a young girl she was

Writing poems full of heavy words

Heavy feelings her poems were

Wet with tears but nicely written

With the polished handwriting of

Someone who is trying hard to

Keep it all together and

To stay strong, to stay sane.


I met a woman and I felt like

I had met her before

Maybe briefly in the streets of

Bologna our eyes have met in

Those shining streets during

Those winter holidays when

Those streets are so sparkling

And I don’t think I’ve ever

Seen anything more beautiful than

Those streets.


That woman I think I’ve for sure

I have seen her before

Her gaze was majestic and solemn

Staring at those burning photographs

She stood alone in front of the world

Not because she was powerful

But because she had no other choice

She was heroic out of necessity

Nevertheless, she was heroic.


I met that woman once, before,

She was working as a cashier

She had big dreams and hopes

She was a cashier and she hid

Behind the counter she hid a book

A book of German grammar and

A postcard of Berlin.


I’ve heard that voice, I think I’ve

Heard that voice before

I was passing by and I heard her

She was screaming the way you

Passively scream when you

Have been fighting the same fight

Again and again and you feel tired but

Still you cannot give up because

It is a principle and you are a revolutionary

You marched for women rights and

You were a communist and you

Cannot ever accept that your

Boyfriend does not want to

Do the laundry he does not want to

Mop he does not want to clean up

He does not want to but you

Cannot let yourself become the

Stereotypical woman the

Stereotypical mother who.


I met her before that woman

She was going to a job interview

She was wearing that beautiful tailleur

That beautiful tailleur her

Boyfriend had chosen for her and

She was telling herself she

Was telling herself to be strong

That she could do it if only because

If only because she had to

No matter the shyness no matter

The fact that her knees were trembling

Because there was no other choice

For her besides going there and

Then going home and then

Starting again and again

Interview after interview until

The fear slowly fades away.


I met that woman once when

She let her husband take her to Milan

With her tailleur and the shoes

She forced him to stop the car

Far away from the hotel because

She did not want them to see that

She let her husband take her there

She was a strong independent woman

She was and she walked over there

As a strong independent woman she walked.


I’ve seen that woman through the window

Of her new home she was

Standing right at the center of

That empty house without

Furniture and without anything

It was not the house she had dreamed of

It was not the place she had wanted

It was far from everything else

It was on a hill in the middle of nowhere

It was a golden cage it was

And she stood in the middle of the house

The empty house and she

Asked herself “Why did I do this?”

And she asked herself “And now what?”


I remember that woman she was

She was pregnant once I remember

She was scared when she

Set that meeting with her boss and

What is going to happen to me now?

She asked herself in that waiting room

“I have something to tell you” she said.

“I have something to tell you” he said.

“You first” she said.

“The company is failing. I’m sorry but

I have to fire you.” She laughed.

“You know,” she said “I’m pregnant.”


I remember that woman working

Always working and working

When she was pregnant she was working

When she had a baby she was working

And she kept working and working

And one day that woman one day

She had this really good job at

An insurance company and

For once she had this really good job

And a brand-new contract and

A lot of money for once she had

A lot of money and she felt proud and

A new boss came in and he

Changed it all he teared it up

That contract he teared it up so

She turned away that woman

She turned away and she left

I remember that woman when

She turned away and she left and

She walked very steadily towards

Towards her dreams.


That woman, I feel like I’ve

I feel like I’ve seen her before

I really missed that woman

So impulsive and imperfect

She pretended to be invincible

Strong like a warrior even though

Her knees were always trembling

Even though she had to

Compromise and compromise and

She made mistakes, I know she

Made so many mistakes and she

Made a fool of herself so many times

She made a fool of herself and

She fell she fell so hard but

Every time she fell she

Inevitably she always stood back up

Again and again she stood back up.


She has no sense of humour that woman

She always thinks you’re serious

No matter how absurd the things you

Say no matter how absurd

She will believe your words and respond

She is naïve that woman and prickly

She does not have a degree she

Left the university early that woman

She was overwhelmed by life and

She left the university early and

She is a woman who is alive and

She is strong and alive and so real and

She is a woman, I’m sure,

I can become like that woman

My own way, I can, I’m sure

I can become like that woman

That woman I know I have met her before

That woman she truly is

My mother.

author photo (2)Eleonora Rossi, born in 1992, comes from a hill in the middle of nowhere, near Bologna, Italy. She wrote many poems throughout her childhood and puberty, but she got a bit side-tracked while studying political science and pursuing her MSc in Crisis & Security Management at Leiden University. Fortunately, inspired by some amazing authors she follows on social media, she fell back down the rabbit hole into the poetry world. This is her first published poem. Connect with her on Twitter: @eleo316

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