Woman (Poem)

A poem by 2012-13 Humphrey Fellow Cheryl L. Daytec (Philippines) in honor of the 16 Days to End Violence Against Women.

Woman

 by Cheryl L.  Daytec

 

In fairy tales, they stole your strength

Made you

A wispy figure

Whose salvation is

In the kiss of a prince

In holy discourses

You have been targeted

For stoning, for burning`

A prostitute

A widow purged of essence

A rambling witch

A wife defiled

An unwed mother

An uncircumcised virgin

 

You have been dragged

Through the corridors of sorrow

A grieving mother

A hurting wife

An ignored daughter

 

You have been built

To a prototype

Scared of your power:

A mind shorn of will of its own

A head for nodding

To your father and husband

Eyes for weeping

A tongue for talking balderdash

And singing men’s accolades

Arms for holding infants

And drying laundry

Legs for moving around the kitchen,

Or for toddling behind patriarchy

 

Come. Sprint to higher ground

From the depths of submission

Jump off the pages of fairy tales

Bolt the pigeonhole’s door

Be as a butterfly emerging

From the cocoon

Soaring to heights

Seeking its metamorphosis

Awing the world

 

For there are struggles

To lose without your strength

There are problems

Unsolved without your wisdom

History is a narrative of lies

Without your story

 

For truth cannot be half of itself

 

First published in Muse India, 2009

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