the rainbow girl

she is named for the breath of God
that animated Adam
but she is more than breath
she is breath within a body

her beauty a fusion of 3 continents:
African eyes,
Native American cheekbones,
European lips
wrapped in skin
the color of warm honey
kissing apricots

all lithe grace
& brilliant smile
that today dimmed
as her hands rose to shield
those new breasts

those men
are looking at me
like I’m something to eat
& they’re hungry
she said

& I, with an equally primal response
want to free her
from the weight of those stares

do I scratch out their eyes
or do I tell her it is biology
& to get used to it?

today, I will be her mother
& go for those eyes;
she can get used to
that kind of looking
later.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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16 Responses to the rainbow girl

  1. Rhonda says:

    Ah Zoe…the inevitable growth and emergence of a young woman. I feel for you! Glad I had boys. lol.

  2. doncarroll says:

    nice piece here. i can sense the want to protect. i really dig that second stanza with the geneological references, but the last two lines are exceptional.

  3. zongrik says:

    you describe this like a portrait painting

  4. A “rainbow” beauty, a “rainbow” girl and a poem that has all the beauty of a rainbow – this is how I describe this song. The appeal to colors in stanza 2 is simply stunning! I like the way stanza 3 starts off with movement and lightness and then quickly moves on to dim and slow down that lightness by focusing the reader’s attention to external biological changes whose possible meanings are suddenly thrust on an unprepared lass! Check out the stanza in italics too – the voice of the visually aggressed and the innocence it conveys at the child’s level of meaning whilst still allowing the adult reader to correctly decode the full meaning of the unwelcome stares! Susan brings us face to face with innocence confronting the first signs of adolescence – as a mother, she paints this so well and also conveys her urge to protect her daughter with such beauty and force.
    (Susan, time to go get those Alsatian guard dogs! Scares males away until greater emotional maturity is reached!)
    This is beautiful! Amazing how you keep on turning out such winners!

  5. Mr. Walker says:

    I love that “equally primal response” – so true – and necessary. A true love poem.

    Richard

  6. Jordan says:

    Susan, I love this. I wish I could write an equally beautiful comment to thank you for sharing.

  7. Patricia Chenayi Nyandoro says:

    My distant Cousin!
    Pick her from a Crowd
    It was so easy
    Her smile
    Her posture
    Her skin tone
    She is not so distant
    She is right here
    My Heart!

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