Wednesday, April 23, 2008

how women get silenced


laura reached around the formidable
teacher who smelled of sour
cigarette smoke like all the
grownups did in the seventies
to take her
pottery bowl from the
table: thick-walled
and slightly misshapen with blue
patchy glaze it was made especially for
the cat, whose name was inscribed
underneath, scratched permanently
into the clay with a stick while it was
still wet

Don’t touch that, it’s not yours

i just want to take a look

It’s laura’s bowl, not yours

shrinking back afraid and still
invisible standing outside the
teacher’s line of sight laura left
her bowl and always wondered
what happened to it, whether
the teacher kept it, and did she
love it as much as laura would have?


standing in that
dusty place
feeling lost, defeated
i wanted you
to reach out, put
your arms around me
and hold tight

but when it didn’t happen
i had nothing
to say

you crouched, looked away
into the sand
and ground your last words out
like a cigarette

yes you had
the final word

Rachel Westfall
April 23, 2008


mike-mike said...

There are those who silence others.
There are those who silence is a choice.
Don't let ANYONE silence your Great intentions.


RachelW said...

Disempowerment can come from within, but from what I've seen it's usually institutionalized. Then it's like swimming upstream just trying to be heard.