Or perhaps Lim is wondering about a woman. Contemplating with awe, either at a single woman or the idea of woman or women. That interpretation is more supported as the poem begins. In the third stanza, after contemplating various women Lim has seen, she writes:
I look at them and wonder ifShe connects herself in though and wonder to the women she sees and the women she does not, the women she imagines on the other side of the world, the women with whom she may have shared ancestors on a far off shore.
They are a part of me
I look in their eyes and wonder if
They share my dreams
Why must women stand divided?"A woman is a ritual." That line sticks out to me. It makes me wonder about the idea of womanhood. What makes a woman? What defines a woman? When we can't rely on appearance or sex organs or the shape of the body at birth, then what does define a woman? I think here Lim gives a path to answering that question. That woman is being woman; the act of being a woman is what makes her.
Building the walls that tear them down?
Lover, mother, housewife, friend, breadwinner
Heart and spade
A woman is a ritual