Beloved sons


Hear him, the eldest of these late chances,
notice his ache to play the leading part,
performance ever masking a fine heart.

& the next, who lopes off the pace,
our dreamer, this artist drawing
from our loud crowd to private space.

Then my brave athlete, his frowning look
as he struggles with speech, then books.
A ghosting of a golden man I glimpse.

& my last who bumps up his age
like a young Digger enlisting,
keen to hang with the brotherly gang.

& I can’t forget the other,
born long ago, he’d never guess
I play memory’s cards close to my chest.


© Ian C Smith

“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