September 2017

A new life

A pink straw hat
too long hung
behind the bedroom door
contemplates a new life.

Its owner lying
on the bed, ungainly
as a hippo, writhes...
checking times before
the next wave arrives.

Forgotten now, it seems,
months of commands
exhortations, demands
delivered by a draconian
midwife - who tells tales
of new mothers fussing
You'd think they
were being murdered
she complains.

Strange:
that this third party
is here...yet...
not come through
the bedroom door.

Odd:
how the midwife
soon to to re-wed a long
discarded husband
reaches
for the pink straw hat.

 

© Daphne Hargreaves

“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