Child of Mine

not child of mine imageGretchen was unaware when she locked the door of the hair salon she managed that a terrorist of the worst kind roared murderously down the interstate, not ten miles away, toward the farm she rented with her mother. The late afternoon sun would be casting long shadows across the backyard where her six-year-old daughter would be playing, perhaps gathering the eggs from the hen house. No, Gretchen did not know that today was the day of her nightmares, the imaginary day she never talked about to anyone. Continue reading Child of Mine

When God Was Still A Woman

goddessLong ago in pagan times,
When God was still a woman,
The fertile Earth was cultivated
With a reverence now uncommon.
The abundance of the Goddess Mother
Established harmonious equality.
Life increased with balanced purpose,
Oblivious to male superiority.

Suddenly a flash of light
Sparked a Semitic mind.
A thought envisioned One Manly God,
The Creator of all Mankind.
Divinity revealed masculinity’s prize,
The universal Power of God.
Adam’s myth drew a celestial breath,
Eve’s, God’s afterthought.

The Almighty God and the Earthly Kings
Saw a chance to Capitalize:
The lowly sinner could be redeemed,
If he was mercifully Christianized.
While the Puritan Ethic of honest toil
Fills the coffers of Godly Kings,
The Worker is promised a heavenly home,
If to the cross he clings.

Man knows fear as never before,
Under the hand of Almighty God.
Woman is charged with unknown sins,
As down to Hell they trod.
Once, an archaic thought formed chosen words,
Through the trickery of subtle deceit
And Humanity was eternally duped,
Enslaved by its own conceit.
Anita Stubbs, 1992

Whispers from A Grandmother

Life restricted her, bound her cruelly,
limiting her as I have never been.
She was confined to servitude by female bondage,
her body used, spread-eagled under male dominance,
her purpose, predetermined,
without choices to be pondered.
Life just prodded her along
through the mud and the blood,
though she never traveled anywhere
other than to church occasionally.
A good suffering Christian,
she spent her life on her knees,
scrubbing, praying, begging.
Praying he’d come home sober,
then begging him not to hurt her.
She whispers from the shadows,
though she’s been gone for sixty years.
Only I still hear her, taste her bitter tears.
She whispers from the shadows,
uninhibited by space or time,
empowering me to dignify
the memory of her name.
Grandmother, kind and gentle,
a woman, wise and strong,
born with all the hopes and dreams
any girl has ever known.
Although she never saw the world,
or read its finest literature,
she had the gift of healing,
of knowledge never learned.
She had courage and compassion,
and tolerance for her pain.
She did her birthing at home, mostly alone,
and kept her humor through it all.
She should have been honored,
praised, worshiped on a pedestal.
Instead, life laid its burdens upon her,
and kept her tethered to her stall.

Forgive the Grandmothers

orig logo soap pic

Forgive the grandmothers
their docile obeisance,
their unopinionated views,
their unassertiveness,
their servile attitudes.
It was absolute authority
that made her bow her head,
a cultural thing that prohibited her,
but praised and honored him.

Forgive the grandmothers
for teaching male superiority,
for misleading us about
what feminine decency meant.
That decency was white starched shirts,
and shiny scrubbed floors–
fresh baked bread, piousness,
literacy restricted to reading scriptures.

Forgive the hovering about,
always at beckoning call,
for believing she was most attractive
when he stood proud and tall.
For countless family dinners
that served the menfolk first,
while she was judged by tasty meals,
the value of her worth.
And for steadfastly believing
her place was in the home,
while understanding that when menfolk gathered,
she was limited to certain rooms.

So, forgive her her part in enabling him to reign:
Head of the Table, Head of the House, Head of Everything.

Forgive her quietly giving birth
in a quality show of strength:
Any woman worth her salt,
decently endured pain.

Forgive her performance of duty
in keeping the children quiet,
Careful not to disturb Daddy
when he came home at night.

Forgive her mindless chatter,
her silence when it would have mattered,
for the mockery made
each time she marked her ballot.

Forgive her disdain for the sister
who resisted
by voting alone,
refusing to double his.

Forgive the grandmothers if you can,
for their clucking godliness,
for the little women robed in velvet steel
deserve our graciousness.

Forgive them, forgive them,
lift up their lowered heads.
Forgive them their delusions,
for they knew not what they did.
Anita Stubbs, 1993