Poetry: Ghazal for My Sisters

Be the woman you’re destined to be in this life;
graceful in motion, dance free in this life.

Buy tickets for any train, bus, plane or cab.
So much to hear, do, think and see in this life.

Speak up with body and voice, flowing hands—
you don’t always have to agree in this life.

Lay burdens down on altars, by lakes,
places to which you can flee in this life.

Eyes to the heavens, fingers to the sky,
hands up to feel the glee in this life.

All numbers on the scale act shady—
not everyone’s size three in this life.

Beads and bracelets, bridges and bayous.
Don’t have to be one she in this life.

A book, a pen, a solemn afternoon.
Savor your cups of green tea in this life.

Poems should be courted like a bride.
Get down on one knee in this life.

Come up for air beneath the glamour;
listen for your own plea in this life.

Every taste and flavor, every grain—
so glad you’ve come to me in this life.

-Allison Joseph, Valparaiso Poetry Review

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