The old woman clasps worn cards wearily to grizzled chin,

vertical lines set deep as piercing black eyes etched

into an apple doll face.

Sweeping swollen arthritic fingers over lined forehead,

drumming now, listening to the hollow sound

of bony digits echoing against her skull.


Tapping, tapping flat cards to thrust of jaw

ever so gently yet persistently knowing,

as she did,

the message contained within the deck’s images

cast long ago from a stranger’s mind onto paper.


Fear arises, wells up inside her throat,

recalling faces beyond memory

castigating, infiltrating, immolating,

angry as the fires of hell that she knew

more accurately than themselves

their own path unfolding.


What the men wanted and what they got,

whether from her pack or between her sheets,

seldom elicited gratitude;

rather envy and scorn surged

from the recesses of dull minds

expecting picture-book angels,

unready and unwilling to accept

the too-human answer to their prayers.




13 thoughts on “GYPSY

    1. Aloha Ronnie:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, especially as this seemed to discomfort you.

      Women have throughout history, until quite recently in the scheme of time, been castigated; nay, tortured and killed for gifts of vision and healing. Likely since I was born with both, I feel empathy for those brave ones who came before me. Though what made me think to write this particular poem stems more from what simply presents itself or seeks expression through my words on any given Tuesday.

      Take good care, dear one.


  1. Bela, you write in a few words what I think would take me many pages. It seems we live in a culture where many gifts are scorned, and though perhaps secretly, feared as well…I find myself with much to say about what you have written here, though perhaps I will just say ‘thank you’. I can only hope to have such a beautiful face with the passing of years, but I surely am touched that there are some such as you, that see the gifts tucked tightly away …lest they be scorned yet again.


    1. VivianLea, thanks so much for all your support over time, including the reblog of this piece. Much appreciated. Strange, though we’ve never met, I somehow feel we are kindred spirits – have felt this since we first connected here on WP. Not many can dive deep and bask in still waters – which is not to disparage others; rather simply an observation. I wouldn’t know what to do with a shallow life; don’t know how to simply cruise through without poking into all the holes, exploring what lies in the shadows as well as in the light of day.

      I think it’s important, though uncomfortable for some, to be sure, to keep one’s eyes on his-tory, especially as women. Particularly as mothers of daughters, which I am. Things tend to repeat themselves if we forget, and this world badly needs the healing gifts we women bring.

      Anyhow, Aloha, dear one, and thanks again.


      1. Forgive me, Bela – I saw your reply though I got caught up in my busy chores. The ‘thank you’ was genuine, for there are moments when I despair of small talk.


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