Bernie Crawford – Women like me

Women like me

by Bernie Crawford

After Nii Ayikwei Parkes

My mother warned me about women
like me. Women who leave the house
with unwashed dishes piled high on the
draining board, leave unwashed children

play outside after the Angelus curfew.
Women who don’t solemnly pause at the sound
of the bell, who paint their mouths
and nails and lives in colours too bold.

Women who lick ice-cream cones on the street
and enjoy the coolness of summer days
trickling down their throats. My mother told me never
to copy those women who bare bronze legs in summer,

slip feet into silver sandals, and dip their toes into
saucy seas. My mother cautioned me to stay away from
lippy women. Never join a women’s group, she said,
especially one where hand-held mirrors are used.

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