The Standoff

Men prefer a reserved lady,
Mother was quick to admonish,
ashamed of my hot temper,
the tear in mud-soaked stockings
the call that came from the boy’s mother.

But I was born with a fervid passion,
a sense of justice igniting a fire within –

Women need to stand up,
I lectured her, to declare our rights
a concept that fell on closed ears.

She’d continue to take father’s abuse,
apologize for under-salted broth,
or too thick gravy, for lingering
too long in conversation at the market,
or letting us kids dare to raise our voices.

And I’d continue to clock any boy
who dared to say that girls can’t….

Neither of us able to reverse
the inequity we suffered.

(For Ragtag Community’s challenge: fervid; and Fandango’s, reverse.) Image from personal collection.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

21 thoughts on “The Standoff”

  1. Usually, all my mother had to do was point her finger at my dad if she thought he was getting out of line. I had eight sisters so we (the boys) were taught to respect women. Not that they couldn’t ‘clock’ any one who stepped on their toes.
    A great poem my friend.

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  2. My mother took too much mental abuse from my father! I wanted her to leave him.

    She stayed for a while because she wanted me to learn from it and not suffer as she did. It worked but took me a few years to realize it. I was also more prepared for the corporate world which I endured for forty years plus. I learned to be tough there, as well.

    A splendid poem, V.J., and one I can relate to.

    Liked by 1 person

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