Les Femmes en Situation Precaire


The stain, the lie, the leaf leach of gold and burgundy

in this falling apart time for change

and good causes — exhaust philanthropy. A borrowed story,

bought and believed, helps because, like a prayer well

composed and offered with grace to the audience,

it finds reward. It multiplies good even when

it beggars belief. Women weave

stories because beauty is their ancient currency,

because truth battles fear, because it’s all mixed up

and it’s hard. The truth is —

every day calls for a story, just

to buy more time. Every day calls for a story.

Careful acts of desperation stripped bare

inspire autumn melancholy and wonder.

Women wait for change

in precarious situations.



  1. Charles Gustafson · · Reply

    Hi Honey –

    Lovely poem, but so deep – a bit scary! At least that’s my interpretation!

    Love, Mom

  2. This poem came about because I have written previously in support of the work of Somaly Mam and her organization Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Precaire. I read this week that she had fabricated and twisted stories about the girls and women she works to rescue from the sex trade in Cambodia. It got me to thinking more deeply about why some people in precarious or desperate circumstances lie. http://www.cambodiadaily.com/featured-stories/secrets-and-lies-44964/

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