The dream
that haunts me

The dream that haunts me is not Gothic or other-worldly.

I am holding you.
You are the age
that you are now.
I’m holding you
alive, silent.
Your face is beautiful
as it always is.
Your eyes guilty
like when you used to say
you had no homework
or you brought home a stray kitten
or your boyfriend needed money
cos he was goin to get beat up.

A stranger’s voice falters on the phone line
... your daughter ... driving … suicide

At the same instant,
I’m holding you,
for a moment.

Why didn't you talk to me?


© Hal Judge

“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.

Share your thoughts

* Gloria Steinem