I think it was the year
you swept up jacarandas
from the path
and sculpted them

a purple dolphin

I think it was the year
you planted herbs
and greedily
we ate them all at once
cut them down so deep
they couldn’t grow

The year
you raced your scooter
down the drive
our faithful dog
ears flapping
close behind

I think it was the year
you sang in every room
and filled the house
with questions
but did not wait
for answers

I think that was the best year
of them all.


© Sheryl Persson
(Published in Poetrix, Issue 18, May 2002)

“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