I play the songs over and over, so I could
hold on to theirtime, but the frayed roots
untangle the ties that bind. My music
is not their music. Songs that stroke
at my heart is not what they hear.
They’ve composed new lyrics so quickly,
never imagining that their rhythm
would surge so far from the confines
of my making, the safe borders
within my musical score. The passage pervasive,
confusing, but it was not my intention.
Hard to detach my limbs, to surrender the trees
to the forest, the saplings I once thought
would never grow past my clavicles;
the cradle where leaves turned autumn,
but I only ever saw spring.
“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.
* Gloria Steinem