When you look at her
With different eyes
You see that she was
The prettier one
Sad expression even then though

Perhaps her older sister
Denied her education
Because she couldn’t
Bear her to be the
Smarter one too

Her eyes reveal
A depth of character
And a longing for life
For adventures
She will never know

Perhaps her society
Her family, her husband
The oppressive overlay of
Moral female obligation
Denied her such self expression

You think of the years extracting
Their un-payable debt
The Depression, The War, the deaths
The betrayals,
Her dreams ripped away—abandoned

Perhaps it simply couldn’t be bourn
Perhaps you—or I—
Would have been found
Standing at the window
Screaming too

Or, Perhaps it was just menopause—
Intolerable, unspeakable,
Miserable menopause
The offense must be addressed

You learn of the massive crackdown
Imposed for her sin of expression
Drugs employed to shut her up—
Keep her under control—after all—
She was crazy, you know

Over-treated by over-zealous doctors
Who likely knew nothing of
A woman’s heart
A woman’s soul
A woman’s denied potential

Perhaps her children
And we, her grandchildren
Never really knew her
Never saw her as
She truly was meant to be

And perhaps she—
The real she
Was simply,
And finally

This entry was posted in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Denial

  1. Joan says:

    Beautiful, so sad, and a compassionate tribute to a woman denied – a perfect post for today, International Women’s Day.

  2. janehwilson says:

    It is, isn’t it. We have gained more than we can remember sometimes, on the backs of our mothers the whole way.

  3. louise phelan says:

    I love your poem Janie. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling “denied” by Trump and his white it cronies 🍖

    Sent from my iPhone


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