strong women|

Broken Cycle

I see the look of strength
and happiness in the sparkle
of your teenage eyes

I was raised by survival lessons
handed on to you
from years of abuse

you endured
your mother before you
and my great grandmother endured as well

although I didn’t know it then

my great grandmother’s words
ehco in my mind
at the most precarious times

“Just because I’m quiet, doesn’t mean I’m stupid’

your tools for my survival for being a woman
raised in the Portuguese culture
where girls and women didn’t count

no wonder I’m an activist today

So many times when I was crying
you would say
“Bite your tongue”
But I never did

“You can think whatever you want, just don’t say it out loud”
I seldom did
and when I didn’t
there were always consequences to pay

When I came home with a welt on my leg
from a clump of dirt thrown at me
with tears in your eyes you said

“Don’t play with boys. Boys are mean.”

I didn’t give up on boys, Mom
When I look into the eyes of my son
I see love

Mean – is something taught to children

I think I heard pride in your voice
when you’d laugh and say
She doesn’t know she has a place

my daughter doesn’t know
she has a place either

my son knows that girls and women
have value

my children know
they are perfect and beautiful
exactly as they are

I cringed when you said
You’re just like your father
It took years to realize what you meant

It was meant as a compliment

I was strong, brave and fearless
Fearless may have come from Dad, Mom
I don’t think you knew it
but strong and brave came from you



About mindfulnesswalks

Publicist| Citizen Journalist| Host| Mindfulness Walks| Virtual Cafe|Poet| Writer| Artist
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