September 2017

Earth to Avoca

life already lies to my son
and part of me aches to lift the drawbridge to it
post sentries against the shadows
already Trojan-horsing around inside the walls

just a tiny footfall down from grace.
he knows nothing of syringes (the burns ward forgotten)
nothing of the metallic scent of blood (just the odd split lip)
and murder is a squashed mozzie in the bathroom

in the house starring nightly in his bed
tomorrow we fly to Nebula XF 182
for him closer than Avoca Beach
the car a spaceship he expertly pilots

for him Babar the Elephant lives
Thomas the Tank Engine talks
and it’s only a matter of time
before a panda appears in the bamboo

 

© John Blackhawk

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem