Daughters, Be Free

I forge a path,
for those who follow –
my children and theirs.

We lived a small-town,
incestuous fishbowl
life, before the change.

As much as I would
recapture the simplicity,
nothing is ever the same.

The horizon has shifted –
former choices vacated,
sad memories remain.

Eerie desolation repels,
yet I’ve lost an essential
part of me, cannot leave.

Was it curiosity that lured
me into that seedy corner –
forced me into darkness?

Did I not see evil lurking
behind the black curtains,
deception masking as mystery?

I rage for what was taken,
strike out against injustice,
cry vainly for innocence lost.

My daughter, myself,
stripped, shamed,
dishonoured, for what?

Sexual gratification?
Exploitation and profit?
Is nothing sacred?

We lie to ourselves –
we women – born to
appease – disillusioned.

Abandon our birthright,
are marketed, consumed,
objectified, souls shattered.

I rage against the inequity,
plead for common sense
to save them – my daughters.

From the hell I’ve lived,
from patriarchy’s treachery,
from the hurt I’ve inflicted.

I’ve forged a path for none
to follow, pray they choose
another, brighter way.