Last night’s fierce rainstorm
lingers in air clothed in fluffy clouds,
bright blue skies and hungry birds
Chill air seeps through cracks
In this old house still breathing
deeply in lockdown mode
My mind flies unbidden to
a youthful storm about what
mattered yet didn’t end well
Despite the lingering chill
my skin burns with heat and
anguish about changes in plans
Tired old ganged-upon feelings
stir within my memory
before spilling over into today
Yet again my blood boils
with anger and shame
eager to take me down a notch
When I grew up, I didn’t have the option of being too angry, sad, happy, or loud. Worse, my father got to decide when I was too anything. His clear intention was to break my will and keep me in line. Not just because he was my father, but because God told him not to spare the rod.
Several days ago I posted “Farewell, Savannah.” I meant it then and still mean it today. Nonetheless, I’m challenged to let go of the worst injustices of my growing-up years. Especially during the years I lived in Savannah, prior to my marriage.
In the later 1940s and the 1950s, proactive services and opportunities for women and young girls weren’t at the top of our national agenda. Nor are they today.
I applaud President Biden’s determination to make this a top priority. Not as a symbolic act for women at the so-called top of the ladder, but for women and girls everywhere. In families, churches, schools, sports, medical offices, hospitals, workplaces, politics, the military and much more.
The shame and anger I feel isn’t only about what happened to me back then. It’s also about what’s happening right now to women and young girls in the USA. Surely we can do better than this.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 May 2021
Image found at pinterest.com