SMALL COMFORT

In the case of young women who have cracked glass ceilings,  I wish to remind them that generations of women have prepared partners for them who wish to parent their children.  That there were women free of commitments or those who shrugged those commitments  to do what they felt was theirs over the years  was a miracle of sorts.  There were others who had to care for their commitments and could only dance in place.   It is a larger picture than one generation and several lifetimes in the making.  The lone voice of Betty Friedan started the  uproar to the top floors and it was the shoulders of the generations of women our young women today have used as a staircase to the upper floors.

SMALL COMFORT

In waves, the moans
of the conscience stricken reached the heavens.
In waves, across the lands,
reaching tidal proportions,
the laments were cradled in the clouds;
due in time to wash across the hearts of the unborn.

The cries of why? why? and why?
were epidemic as they swept the Great Mind
and lodged in its bosom.
The gods, bewildered, wondered why (themselves)
the questioning continued when in ages past
man learned so well.

But now the ‘why?’ from woman’s lips
demanded an answer
to soothe her breast grown bloody with irritation;
a cancer eating her insides,
moving earth as well as heaven to answer.

‘I said’ no longer was sufficient for the rising tide
of an ego too long suppressed
and not to know its day.
No longer sufficient to walk in shadow,
when knowledge, full blown was hers.

The ‘I said’ no longer held terror
from either God or Man.
‘I said’ no longer could be used
to keep suppressed the horror in the cry
falling on man’s ears.

The children vanished from the hearth
and woman rose, unafraid.
No more the reason of hunger or cold
from winter’s snow to cover the babies’ heads,
as she found her head immune to pain
inflicted by mindless gods, both earth’s and heaven’s.

Too late she knew, but all in due time.
For progress, such as it was, had reason to bed.
The heel must first strike the ground
before the foot implants.

She did not know the muscle she had
to carry life’s burdens,
nor the control it required to balance it all.
Unknowingly, the ballet performance

was exquisite.

Sept. 1987

4 Responses to SMALL COMFORT

  1. maria wulf March 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    My story, our story, the story. I haven’t thought seriously of feminism in a long time, although it is such an undeclared part of me. The divine feminine right? You brought something up in me that I’m not going to quickly forget.

  2. veronicahallissey March 17, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Maria, sometimes I think my job on this earth is simply to be the pebble in the shoe or the grain of sand that irritates. But divine, you are right. Divine Feminine. Thank you.

  3. veronicahallissey March 20, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    with permission from Bill Hackett (e mail response)
    In every age there were women who protested and as you so eloquently write, their voices rose in a crescendo. For poor women and those bound by cultural and religious shackles there is much to be done. And for those privileged to arrive, what next?

  4. veronicahallissey March 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Bill, to refine and work to include all those outside the circle. An ancient saying says that to educate the man you educate one person. When you educate a woman you educate a whole family.

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