Why? She asks me why do I Not get to do the things that he Does so freely, so independently Cavorting with opportunities Expanding his experience of the world That we both live in; why just he?
Why? She asks me why am I Held back by you and the others The elders of the family The uncles and the brothers For my own good I’m told Walled in like Rapunzel, from the world?
Why? She asks me why can’t I Go out on my own. Why can’t I Even stay alone at home? Why have I been singled out Among my siblings as the burdensome one The ill-fated sister among the men?
Why? She asks me have you built These rules to limit my existence Holding me back, making me doubt Myself, my being, my purpose in life Strangling my dreams to always stand Centuries behind a boy or a man?
Why? She asks me why are you Complicit in this chauvinistic ruse? Why did you learn to become small To deliberately set yourself up for a fall? You were better than everyone A hero …. No a heroine!
You my mother, the architect Of dreams, of hopes and even homes Why did you let it all go? Why are you expecting me to do The same, be a wraith of myself A fragile decoration on the shelf
Until I become someone’s wife Until you can pass on the keys of my life To someone else … to some man else Why? She asks me as the tears well In eyes that see the truth of the world That see the expanse of her wretched road
That is why they killed them all off The babies, the girls born centuries ago There was divine justice in that Saving them from a world that sat In Judgement, in anger, in self pride Over girls that survived the infanticide
Tell me mother, why was I Born a woman into this life? Why was I born into this home My dignity defaced, my wings shorn? Why do I feel like to get a fair try At life, another life, I first must die?