Playing my card – a poem

by Elouise


Is being born female a scar?
A blemish a blot an
unfortunate role of the dice?
Something to disguise or
hope might fade over time?

Mind your scar dear
You wouldn’t want to be
laughed at, jeered at, taken
for granted or trashed

Here love let me help you make
the most of your scar perhaps
then they won’t notice it so much

Who knows
you might even win adulation
and a real man if you play
your scar card just right

Remember you’re in this
for the long haul so buck up
and smile like a million dollars
someday you’ll be rewarded for
your dumbed down version of
the woman every man wants

Not to worry there’s still plenty
of time to make your mark you
just need to keep at it no cracks
in the façade

Don’t get me wrong dear I’m not
saying you haven’t been doing it
the right way

It’s just that the cracks in your
scar are showing and we wouldn’t
want you to bleed all over the place
and your clothes

So you’ll just have to stop picking
at it and let it heal the way it’s
supposed to heal all flat and flawless and
invisible just like you

This is my attempt to capture the ethos that informed my growing-up years, as seen today through my adult eyes. I would be less than truthful if I said this kind of approach wasn’t also part of my professional life. It was. Gratefully, by then I had a company of women and some men who helped me make it through. Not as a scar on the face of humanity, and not all flat, flawless and invisible.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 January 2018
Photo taken by my father in 1947 — Seattle, Washington, with Daughter #2 (of 4) and a young friend