Mother Did You Know

*I dedicate this poem to women in general, but also to my mom, who is an amazing woman and still inspires me to be more to this day.

mother did you know
it’s all your fault
you caused the fall
of man
that them’s the breaks
when you talk to snakes

mother did you know
you’re not quite human
humans should be a male
those other parts
aren’t on the chart

mother did you know
that your emotions
make you weak
and at 40 you’re
past your peak
your wisdom
your courage
cause so much fear
that instead of
being vulnerable
they sneer
and jeer

mother did you know
you’re a body – that’s it
one that must submit
and if a man bruises it
beats it broken
it means you really
shouldn’t have spoken

mother did you know
you’re not supposed to enjoy sex
but ironically you want it
even if you don’t flaunt it
somehow you’re always asking
what you wear is just masking
and if you decide to show it
boy then, they really know it
you don’t need to give consent
men know what you meant
he would have been such a gent
if you weren’t giving off a scent

mother did you know
you can’t want more
you have a role
so just put aside your goals
you can have it all
only if you do it all
I know it’s not fair
it seems insane
but that’s what you get
for going outside your lane

mother did you know
no other group has survived
so long an oppression
legislating your bodies
out of your possession
through witch trials
laws permitting rape
and voice suppression
men mutliate you
murder you
send you to slaughter
men say “I love you mom”
then violate somebody else’s daughter

and mother did you know
that every single day
I stand in awe
at how you all persevere
and still manage to
hold your boys near

mother did you know
I’m glad you didn’t tell
me these things
you just loved with
unerring equality
and kindness
patience and
color blindness
taught me spirituality
can break us free
from our prison
and that we can always
do better
if we learn to listen

and mother did you know
as a man I’ve had to
unlearn many things
at times
admitting a hard truth
stings
but then there’s you
whose womb
you made room in
because of you
I know
what it means
to be human

If you’d like to hear me read this poem, click here.

*header image is Claire De Lune” by Audrey Kawasaki