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Best Poems Written by Raina Fields

Below are the all-time best Raina Fields poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Cinematic Yearnings

Sundays, my mother and I watched movies on PBS.
Jezebel, Sabrina, In the Good Old Summertime
Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland.
I practiced their detached look of desire
In bathroom mirrors, when no one was looking.
I learned to smear lipstick across my face,
As if readying myself for a ball, 
And dot the beauty mole where my lips creased upward, conjuring Marilyn.

Why didn’t anyone in the movies look like me?
The darkest grays were servants mumbling “Yes’um, Ma’am” or “No, Sir.”
No blonde hair or come-hither lashes.
Maybe Nat was right: “Madison Avenue is Afraid of the Dark.”

Recently, I’ve watched Shirley tap in movies
For a few minutes, I did wish I was her, with my curls
Bouncing in the air, my dress a frilled tower - 
That is, until her young voice cracked, “Mr. Bones, Mr. Bones.”
The musicians walked out in blackface and I remembered.

Copyright © Raina Fields | Year Posted 2007

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My Mother's Hair

I was once so fond
Of the gray-streaked
Locks cascading
Down her frail back,
Growing so long
In her dying days.

I visited her every day
In the hospital.
The sterile background,
White linen,
And dingy food tray,
Dietary supplements
And nurses’ reminders.

After school,
I braided her hair,
Fingertips brushing
Scalp, climbing up
And down the rope,
Fashioning frizzed
Ends into plaits.

Its soft thickness
Caressing my cheek,
Smelling of flowers
And sweet oils
As she uttered
"I love you"
For the last time.

Copyright © Raina Fields | Year Posted 2007

Details | Raina Fields Poem

With[out] Child

There was no child in her womb,
Nor milk in her breasts.
She told everyone otherwise
Through the high school corridors.

She never missed a day for a sonogram.
Her body remained the same.
Did she spend weekends sorting through the pastel
Hand-me-downs for a child?

I watched girls sobbing on talk shows,
Doubting paternity tests.
"He has your eyes! He looks just like you!"
How could they sabotage dreams?

Only once did I forget the necessary steps,
Engrossed in my sweating and moaning.
But I knew he wouldn’t be with me
When I sweated and cried with child.

Copyright © Raina Fields | Year Posted 2007