September 2017

If I would

 

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you 
of the women that bracket my life, 
if I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you
Of my mother, 
unvanquished,
plagued,
haunted,
struggling for sanity,
if I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you
Of Eldest sister,
triumphant,
cancer at bay,
rebuilding her life,
if I would sit down and write.

If I would site down and write I could not tell you
Of Second sister,
isolated,
warrior-ette,
confident in her G-d,
if I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you
Of Eldest daughter,
emerging,
seeking,
singing her first song,
if I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you
Of Second daughter,
mommy,
golden,
fluttering her wings,
If I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you
Of the child of my child,
locked in her cage,
peering out,
awaiting her release,
if I would sit down and write.

If I would sit down and write I could not tell you 
of the women that bracket my life, 
if I would sit down and write.

 

© Shoshana Kleiman

“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