Changeable and fickle is the woman.
Some things she says, and surely thinks are so,
defy a logic with a bent to wander
beyond the bounds of any truth we know.
Her reasoning, like multi-colored rainbows
whose dissipating prisms on the wane
confuse and yet impossible to alter
by clinging to what sanity remains.
You do not argue, do not raise your standard;
instead you only smile and shake your head,
knowing any moment she will pivot
by saying what she said’s not what she said.
Recounting then a plethora of failings,
your misdeeds by the number she assails;
and ills that you had buried she remembers
down to the slightest gist of the details.
Astounded, you restrain your urge to strangle
and calm your anger like a roiling sea
in ebbing tides of quiet understanding
that this is how she is and how she’ll be.



Don Shook, wearing the many hats of actor, director, producer and author, has award-winning scripts, television shows, and theatrical productions in his bag of credits. Formally with NBC in New York, he performed at Carnegie Hall in Tom Booth’s opera “Gentlemen In Waiting”, announced on air for WNBC, and was part of “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. He also taught music and drama at Texas A&M at Commerce, Duncanville High School, Temple Jr. College, Greenville Junior High and Brookhaven College in Dallas. Mr. Shook has written five novels, four screenplays, an acting handbook and over a dozen teleplays and wrote, directed and produced three shows, in Branson, Missouri. He has conducted Masters Acting Workshops for Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth and at The Granbury Opera Academy in Granbury, Texas. www.donshook.com/dshook3

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15 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Reminiscent of Lerner’s “Let a woman in your life,” though with fewer glowing, solid details.

  2. Anna J Arredondo

    Woman Is (Also)

    Among a host of things, woman is this:
    Forbearing of the sheer pomposity
    Of condescending man. He is remiss
    In blowing off her luminosity

    Of thought and insight. His binary vision
    Would have him claim monopoly on reasoning,
    And hold that thing — perspective — in derision.
    It is not lack of logic, but the seasoning —

    The nuanced shading in another hue.
    (So, man, next time you fight the urge to strangle,
    Come taste the “rainbow” — you can try it too! —
    To contemplate things from another angle.)

    If you dismiss her thought, not for some flaw
    Of logic, but *because* she is a dame,
    Fallaciously you’ve broken logic’s law:
    Ad hominem (ad womanum?)’s to blame.

    Now, *should* she switch to pure, ungoverned feeling
    (Which, girls, we ought t’ admit it when we do it)
    The turbulence at times may leave you reeling —
    Just hang on tight and smile, you’ll get right through it!

    Learn to discern the two, and as you mull,
    She’s gracious when you do the best you can:
    You may be one-dimensional and dull,
    But after all — poor thing! — you’re just a man.

    • C.B. Anderson

      You and Don, Anna, are both right. But I know there must be a middle ground, for otherwise no marriage would ever last.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Anna, I absolutely love your poetic response. Being a British woman, now married to a Texan man (with very different views on the male/female front), I have had a huge learning curve that has been anything but smooth. I have learned that the thinking mind of a man and woman differs (in spite of what identity politics proclaim)… and I’ve learned to embrace that the two diverse trains of thought can come together as one, but only if the two parties accept that they are coming from separate angles and appreciate the differences that can enhance a relationship and blend together as one formidable force.

      • Anna J Arredondo


        What C.B. says, that there must be a middle ground, is absolutely true. And I think a big factor of that is simply recognizing that men and women are vastly different in some areas, and approach things in vastly distinct ways. There are many instances in which “we are both right”, and there is no fundamental disagreement at all. The trick is to respect one another and make the effort to learn the other’s “language” and how to translate it into one’s own “language” (as opposed to society abolishing all distinction and forcing both men and women into a uniformly meaningless and flavorless gibberish)… It’s like cooking a nice dish – we want a variety of contrasting yet complementary ingredients, not an unidentifiable mush!

        And when there are real disagreements, so what? Have a civil discussion about it and work it out…

  3. Dave Whippman

    A lot of exasperated men can relate to this! A nice mix of good-natured resignation and tenderness.

  4. Jeff Eardley

    Don, read this to a woman in England and you could end up with a smack in the mouth. Over here we have various words that women say. One is “Fine” which means nothing of the sort, “Nothing” which always means something, and “Go ahead” which is a dare. All three in the same breath is dangerous. I am just about to check the multi-coloured rainbows of my wife’s reasoning. Great stuff and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Don, great poem – thought-provoking and beautifully executed. But, more than that, I admire your bravery and wit in a non-PC world that never applauds the male perspective. If this was written from a female point of view, it would get a round of applause… I hope the same is granted to you in this age of “equality”. Well done!

  6. benjamen grinberg

    on the head. and anna j arredando’s too. in my own life i’ve had this experience with my mother. i’ve tried to take it as a child but it’s a very big and imposing one (compared to a small child). still, I try to take the path outlaid in this poem. it’s always emotions that get in the way isn’t it? when emotions get involved it’s hard to see so clearly.

  7. Frank De Canio

    Good poem concerning some women. But Cole Porter in Kiss Me Kate gives women her equally valid point of view of some men:

    “I can’t abide them even now and then
    Then ever marry one of them, I’d rest a maiden rather
    For husbands are a boring lot that only give you bother
    Of course, I’m awful glad that mother had to marry father”

    “Of all I’ve read, alone in bed, from A to Zed about ’em
    Since love is blind, then from the mind, all womankind should rout ’em
    But, ladies, you must answer too, what would we do without ’em?


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