A Dobbs Poem

A Dobbs Poem (One of Many) 

I get it.  
As a child I too wished
that my mother didn’t work. ( I mean,
at a job.) 

But what I really wanted
was not for my mother not to work–all mothers work–
but for my mother to just
be quiet, to not complain
about the house (how no one helped her);
to not go on about money—
(because she made some, she seemed to feel
she should have a say in how it was spent.)

I just didn’t want to hear her voice sometimes,
especially the way it sounded when she thought
that she had rights, or when she knew
she had opinions.

I mean, a part of me was also proud of her:
that she asserted rights, that she spouted
the many ways in which she seemed so free,
compared to the women on our block
who did not work at jobs, who seemed so stuck
in their houses.

But if only she’d just
be quieter.

So, I get it.  People can talk of babies all they want—
who doesn’t love
babies?—but a lot of what they really want
is for women to just
shut up. 

And in this culture (whether it’s fair or not)
people who make their own money
are harder to just 
shut up
(even if they don’t make
that much money.)

What so many want from women
is dependence, and if that means destroying
young children, whose dependence has already been
abused, and if it means destroying women who are sick
with the child their bodies can’t carry, so
be it. 

For, if only women’s bodies can be controlled,
that will surely
control their tongues.

But here’s the thing—my mother
would not be shut up (believe me, I know).
So, here we go;
here we go—


Thanks be to my mother and so many many like her who were feminists before they knew the word. I have written many Dobbs poems, so far.  They are not so good—I am just too angry—but I did finally want to get at least one of them out there. 

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