Under the weather


Positioned around our wood oven stove
like planets warming to the sun.
Outside is whiter than anything I’ve seen:
clouds, coconut milk, some mice.
I’m wondering if my son left his boots outside
and the irony of it, the adventure before us.

We eat mandarins, mildly fighting with dryness and coughs,
folded within our bathrobes, light streaming
through the window until we are snakes on rocks
though domestication suits.
The fire whispers cackles pops
seeps the occasional sigh.

I take him
make a scarf for him with my arms.
I cover my nose with his hair,
softer than anything I’ve felt:
eyelashes, satin, this fresh
mountain snow.


© Heather Taylor-Johnson

“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