Friday, April 8, 2016

Women's History

I woke up this morning
remembering women's history -
all my high school girlfriends
who ended up in beauty school
instead of college -
white trash from red dirt -
what else could they do?

I got up this morning
and like a woman from our history,
I prayed to God the father
down on bended knee.
Another man to bow to;
another man to please.
Can't be left or leave.

Little girl, in the dawning
freshness of your morning,
know your women's history,
know all that's gone before,
and if you can
move it forward
a little more.

For Sherry's prompt at Real Toads

Note: After reading Marion's comment below and giving it a good long think, I've decided that she has a point.  The first stanza comes off as snobbish, as if only the dumb girls went to beauty school or something.  Not what I meant, but it reads that way.  This is what I meant.

all my high school girlfriends
who ended up in beauty school 
instead of college or diesel mechanics or the seminary or the marines or professional boxing or . . .  -
cause that's just what girls do.

The poem was not intended to criticize any woman's choice; it was intended as a commentary on the lack of choices that women had in the past.  


Sanaa Rizvi said...

Lovely prayerful verse.. beautifully done :)

Susan said...

You do; we do.

Debi Swim said...

and if you can
move it forward
a little more.... I like that

Fireblossom said...


aLeX said...

This is my favorite line: "white trash from red dirt"

What you did in the second stanza was very smart.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Yes. Move it forward.

The humbling fact about the girls who went to beauty school when I went to college - they earn more than I do being self-employed. So it goes.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes. And given her mama, I know that she will. Baby Puppy for President one day. Though who would wish that job on anyone, never mind a precious girl-child?

ellecee said...

Strong sentiments, well written,,,I hope that we all can move it forward perhaps more than a little,,

Marion said...

WOW! So fucking insulting to poor women who get a Vocational Education (myself included). This is just wrong. My hairdresser retired a millionaire 2 years ago at 49. The red dirt redneck dumbass invested in real estate for many years and is now traveling the world with her husband and family. This is 100% judgmental and distasteful. Fucking feminist bullshit. History is history and any person can be whatever and whomever they want to be. I won't be back here or buying your books or recommending your blog anymore.

Susie Clevenger said...


Anonymous said...

women must teach girls our many histories

De said...

"can't be left, or leave." This is just perfect.

Myrna R. said...

I like the last stance so much.

Outlawyer said...

Oh my goodness (at comments.)

I found the end especially lovely, MZ. I'll be back to your blog many times. k.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes please!

grapeling said...

wow. I'm sorry you lost a reader but I don't think you are wrong. There's so much thin skin in the cyber world, it seems - is there no chance for nuance, or depth, or interpretation? for reading and re-reading and asking questions? or is it all just a rush to judgment - on you, especially, who AFAIK are a champion of voices too-long oppressed. ~

Gemma Wiseman said...

Choices for a working woman were once so limited. Educated women usually were limited to careers as nurses or teachers. Not fair, but how it was. And worse. Those without some money in the family to back their studies rarely had a chance to get that far. Often, they had work to support the family - especially if the person concerned was the eldest in the family. Discrimination at its worst, because it was not seen as discrimination for far too long.
So love your last stanza calling for a constant awareness of moving forward.

brudberg said...

Choices are always limited.. but do we ever know which choice is right? There are structures and fences that prevent you from really do what's best... And having grown up in academia I know a lot about those structures as well,