I watch.

You, scrutinise your fingers
insects stretching, bending.

You mould reluctant clay
caress, cajole
work feverish for perfection.

Staccato, a squeal of joy
you make magic, without a wand.

Insects fidget, scuttle by
plunge in pots and palettes
mix myriad hues, swirl rainbows.

I see fingers and your future.


© Sheryl Persson

(First published in First Breath Poems on Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood, November 2004)

“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