I Am the Woman – Basilike Pappa

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
She and the other matriarchs exchanged recipes. Babies in arms, children tugging at their sleeves. High pitched squealing. The perfect detergent for spring cleaning.
I zoomed out.
Someone asked me something, I said ‘what?’ Then they exchanged glances.
– Isn’t the day hot, and could you beat the eggs?
– Sure, why not?

I beat the eggs and I was thinking the last time I did spring cleaning must have been summer because it was hot. Then someone came and brought me pot. That’s how I missed a spot on the window glasses.

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
When she told me ‘when you get pregnant,’ I said ‘I’m not taking any chances.’

‘Son, she’s cold. Chit-chat was like we spoke foreign languages. I have a feeling she’ll never bake a pie. She only paid attention when I showed her the tear-free way of onion peeling.’

‘What’s worse, son, is she doesn’t want kids. How selfish is this? When a woman loves a man, she wants to multiply.’

‘Lazy, uncaring, contemptuous of floral patterns – son, she’s not normal.’

Didn’t she say these things to you?
Listen to her, they are all true.

Weather and wax for hardwood flooring
– baby, these politics are boring.

Scaling and steaming lake trout
– not for me. I’ll dine out.

I’d rather read the half-truths of Karl Kraus
than spend my days in your house

with rubber gloves, scrubbing the cupboards
(vague displeasure in the suburbs.)

Brace yourself, here comes a shock:
I have no biological clock,

no desire to be your old lady
proud to be blessed with your baby.

I’m not normal; I confess:
can’t sacrifice myself, I guess,

to win a place in your heart
(from loveless sex to sexless love.)

Which also means, I don’t go ‘oh!’
over the squareness of your jaw
and never fall in purple patches
when I swallow your discharges.

Tie me down, then play dog?
Think again, you missed a spot:

don’t expect me to be loyal.
What can I say? I’m not normal.

I am the woman your mother warned you about,
the greatest enemy that prowls around.

Why don’t you find someone else to bother?
Run home now, to your mother.


Basilike Pappa can be found reading near a window or sitting in front of a computer in Greece. If she’s not there, I don’t know where she is. Her prose has appeared on Intrinsick and Timeless Tales, and her poetry on Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics, Bones Journal for Contemporary Haiku, Sonic Boom, Dodging the Rain and Visual Verse. To see more of her work, you can visit her blog Silent Hour – Poetry and Prose by Basilike Pappa

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Brave & Reckless and commented:

    Basilike Pappa is the Woman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bobcabkings says:

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    Basilike Pappa – Your mother warned you and she was right.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m the man
      my mother warned
      everybody else about!
      So I can truly relate
      to this work
      from such a wonderfully
      disreputable poet.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Silent Hour says:

        Wonderfully disreputable is officially my new black!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Man in Black 🖤
        is back, and on track 🤠

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Silent Hour says:

    Reblogged this on Silent Hour and commented:
    Being the woman your mother warned you about, on Heretics, Lovers and Madmen. I have some sisters too you should watch out for.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My older sister’s friends,
      being veracious fiends,
      made a meal out of me.
      They were such curious
      creatures,
      I’m still post trauma therapy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Silent Hour says:

        So sorry to hear that. I hope they served you with a good sauce at least ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Never apologize for being a powerful fucking woman. (Damn, B!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Silent Hour says:

      And never apologize for not being normal. Thank you, B!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Normal is so passé. As sb said, if we were smart, we would all go crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Silent Hour says:

        And yet so many hold on to the good old days and the good old values. No problem with that — i am not inviting them chez moi anyway. But the look in their eyes if you tell them you don’t want kids is so precious you want to press more

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know.
        Been there, seen it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Silent Hour says:

        I am not surprised, my dear!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Basilike – what’s not to like…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Silent Hour says:

      And what’s not to like about you always supporting me? Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marinated & Basted 🍗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Steven Baird says:

    Amazing work, Basilike. You make the words dance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Silent Hour says:

      I was going for a little dance here — thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Steven Baird says:

        Dance you did. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Silent Hour says:

        Great to know 🙂

        Like

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