The Eternal Feminine
by Maya Kesserwany

Perverse virgin on the highway side
crafted figure against the scorching dust
against the angelic young girl's photograph in her purse
years ago in pigtails and rags
before he fashioned her into the woman of her fears
slender curves traced in soft pink
once a pure silence
now a stuttering presence
as she whips her lips for a ride to somewhere
to nowhere but not everywhere:
she's been over that hill before--
the saintly mother form she embraced
long before
the cruel stepmother role she played
But now
she is the woman on the highway side
with a purse and too much rouge
and those leather boots to hide the scars:
she has come a long way.
the ambivalence of the "Eternal Feminine"
now carved under those woman eyes
as the film strip runs in flashbacks in her head
and she lifts her skirt for a free ride
she's leaving town today
she'll probably get there tomorrow
but no one will find out
or remember
except her figure
and maybe those heels
and perchance
that she was a woman.

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