The Secret of Caryatids / simone leid

So you really expect me to carry
this whole house on my head
never mind my porous skin
the cracks in my hairline?

Men like you dream of marrying a girl
with no arms, alabaster skin
use her as a hood ornament
break off a chunk of her breast
to whitewash your driveway

When that gilded smile begins to crack
you’d set this house on fire to hide your deceit

Foolish man
don’t you know the more you try
to rub dirt in my eye
the brighter I shine?
that every translucent tear restores what was broken
that this fired chamber only serves to harden my resolve
that this white you mistake for fairness is
actually bone?


Simone Leid is a Trinidad and Tobago national, fellow of the Cropper Foundation Creative Writers Workshop and Founder of The WomenSpeak Project – an online forum which encourages Caribbean women to tell their stories of discrimination, found at


  1. so well written. Envokes thoughts and feelsing I forgot I had. Write on Simone, write on….

  2. Pulled me in with the first line, but oooh that ending. Killed me.

  3. Love this, Simone. The ending keeps echoing long after you’ve read it… Keep writing!!!

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