You reap what you sow

Author Bio: 

Theresa Sahyoun has recently graduated from the American University of Beirut with a duel degree in English literature and Philosophy. She now teaches high school students about commas and researches Lebanese movies with metropolis cinema. Her poetry has been featured in Rusted Radishes, Al Raeda magazine as well as Sofar Sounds Beirut and Cliffhangers.

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Theresa Sahyoun. "You reap what you sow". Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research Vol. 4 شماره 2 (2018): pp. -. (Last accessed on 20 ژوئن 2024). Available at:

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Illustration by Zeina Hamady 2018 ©

“Be careful with your flowers.


Don't use brown pots.


Get a vase that’s easy to clean – there's nothing worse than a dirty container.


Make sure the colors are well coordinated.

Be careful where you place your plants.


You should know by now, some need more light than others, some need more water than others.


Put a bouquet next to the couch, and another one next to the window. Get to know your plants and give them what they need – after all, aren’t you as delicate as a stem?


Don't be surprised – tough women always see it coming – the fingers dismembering your roots like a pitchfork, the fingernails tearing out your thorns, your neck snapping like a twig.


When you start to hurl out your insides don't make a sound, keep it in your mouth, bite your tongue, swallow your protests, hide them in your fists, tough women don't beg.


Let your muscles be molded like soil, the nipple and the pollen suddenly exposed. Tough women don't freeze.


Look them in eye eye and take it kiss by kiss, petal by petal, you are scattered everywhere, you love it, you love it not.


It doesn't matter anyway, you are already an extension of someone else's violence, and you are disgusting.


I can smell you from here, how you unravel every morning what your stomach reaps,


I told you not to fight it, to be a gardener's dream. no one wants a flower with black spots.


Reassemble yourself quickly. Tough women don't dream, garnitures must be fastened everyday and you are no exception. SSRIs and vitamins like pesticides, I said don't fight it. There is no end to grief and you will never know what was taken from you.


Still, don't forget to water yourself too, even the best of us cry sometimes. You should know by now, plucked flowers aren't really dead.”