A wise woman I knew,
never could read a book,
she cared for the chickens,
sang and danced as she cooked.

She could make sweet candy,
curdling milk with lime,
adding sugar too,
it tasted sublime.

Building her fine house,
of mortar and bricks,
she mopped it inside,
with a rag and stick.

Not watching a clock,
when predicting time,
instead looked outside,
noticing sunshine.

Quickly sniffing air,
smelled visits from rain,
once or twice saved lives,
curing any pain.

Her eyes could not read,
but her mind could see,
all the kindest hearts,
and the greatest thieves.

Brilliant like no other,
grand ties made us friends,
bonds with no known start,
never see an end.

– Grace Y. Estevez-Reddy


26 thoughts on “Illiterate

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  1. The title evokes sympathy in the reader for whomever is labelled as such, considering the times we live in.

    The title, together with the picture ( old, feeble hands on an open book ), seems to implore the reader, “Help me. I want to learn to read.”

    The ring on the finger gives the impression its bearer has spent her entire life and potential in marriage and yet hasn’t given up hopes of learning to read one day.

    And after reading the poem, you wonder, “If this wise woman could be this cheerful despite being illiterate, imagine her joys and the impact on her world if she had learnt to read and write”.

    Brilliant poem, Grace. Keep up the great job. You are a star. Keep shining.

    1. So happy you enjoyed it, Benjamin. Thank you so much. I got the picture from Pixabay but felt it fit well with this piece, after reading this response, it assured me that I was right in picking it. Thanks again.💕

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