A Woman is Not a Potted Plant

A woman is not a potted plant
her roots bound
to the confines
of her house

a woman is not
a potted plant
her leaves trimmed
to the contours
of her sex

a woman is not

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a potted plant
her branches
espaliered
against the fences
of her race
her country
her mother
her man

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her trained blossom
turning this way
and
that
to follow
the sun

of whoever feeds

and waters

her

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a

woman
is wilderness
unbounded
holding the future
between each breath
walking the earth
only because
she is free
and not creeper vine
or tree

Nor even honeysuckle
or bee.

~Alice Walker

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