original poetry

The Woman’s Room

In Saudi’s Arabia, women are punished for infidelity by being locked in a room constructed in her own home, soundproofed, a hole in the center for waste and a slot in the door for food to be passed through. She remains there until death, never to hear the sound of another human voice. Many go mad and all die within a short span of time. Her fate is decided by her father or her husband. Not all men choose this punishment. It is called the Woman’s Room. 

 I will be your silent subjugate, my father, your dominion I assume. Give me another way to compensate and save me from the woman’s room. 

My lover gave me a silvered mirror, the reflection showing a different fate. Your legacy to me is to corner and trap in this suspended state.  

From my cocoon I am metamorphic on wings of maroon and deepest teal. In flight I transcend the Arabic, my sisters caught in the spokes of a wheel. 

 I will scream until the truth is unveiled, until hooded eyes have been impaled. 

Emily Florence  



Her Hands

They soothed my brow, curled my hair and filled my lunchbox. My feet on cold linoleum, they made eggs with hard edges.

They did laundry in a tub that would freeze on the line and grew corn and beans to fill our hungry mouths. 

 They sewed midnight dresses for parties and dances, simple creations held with loving stitches.

They could turn into fists, blood and trust running out. Whose hands had soothed and then weaponed against her? 

At the end of her life when words had no meaning, we spoke in our tactile way, as I massaged her worn hands with creams and painted her nails the color of love. 

Emily Florence





The lion king past his prime still commanded glory, ignored by those unable to see his scars from ancient battles. The lioness wandered from a different strata searching for familiar grounds.

They circled, smelled the scent of forgotten lives, then joined. She licked his amber coat and feared the salty taste. He sank his teeth into the softness of her neck, drank the warmth and took what he thought was his.

 The jungle-gods screamed as they watched her body rise from the dust and lope into the red sky with a heart of thunder.

Emily Florence


Pears and Dreams

We planted a pear tree near the back gate. Through the summer we watered it and dreamed of a life in Johnson Canyon, red rocks and sage trees to color our lives. It’s been in the ground for two years, you’ve been gone for one.

The nights are tinged with coolness now and the pear tree is a golden brown. Our dream fades into that place where dreams winter because they are, after all, an illusion. 

Next year pears, as yellow and sweet as summer light, will grace the branches, reminding me of the possibility of dreams, some to be forgotten and others becoming as real as the taste of cool fruit in my mouth.

Emily Florence