Empowerment Poem by David Welch


My name is Harold and I wed
the greatest woman in the world,
the problem here is not my wife,
rather her sister's little girl.
My niece had hippie parents, see,
and public school taught her some things,
things that I think weren't all that true,
based on the huge trouble they'd bring.

I noticed first, when she was young,
she wanted to play the male sports,
tried out for football at age ten,
they kept doing things of that sort,
her mother would say that a girl
should have the same choice as a boy,
I pointed out that young girls can,
but one fact they just can't avoid
is that young girls remain smaller,
they be smashed around in football,
and most girls don't want to play it,
it's not in their interest at all.
How would she learn feminine ways,
how girls and women interact?
If spare time was spent with rough boys,
hoping her small bones didn't crack?
My sister-and-law and my niece,
said I ‘don't want women empowered! '
But when she was bruised and black-eyed
she looked nothing more than dour.

Later on, when she reached high school,
and emerged grown from puberty,
my niece entered the dating scene,
and troubling rumors came to me
from the mouths of the local parents,
some said that my niece ‘got around, '
to keep my daughter far from her
so that she did not ‘drag her down.'
I didn't want to believe it,
but I had once been young myself,
and when my niece came to visit
the signs were all right there to tell.
The distant look there in her eyes,
and how she talked about ‘her needs, '
that sex should be ‘empowering, '
and other such feminist screeds.
Her mother would smile and nod,
and talk about how ‘times did change, '
but beneath all the false facades
I saw in my niece lasting pain.
My daughter said she had caught her
sobbing out in the girl's bathroom,
and said few girls befriended her,
consigned her to a social doom,
yet still she'd act like she knew all,
and never did cease to speak up,
she claimed it was empowerment,
then cried from the life of a slut.

Now somehow she went to college,
though admittedly just a state school,
she was quite right from programming,
and like most she came out a fool.
Started talking of ‘patriarchy, '
claimed that all men were just rapists,
always said that she was ‘oppressed, '
I asked why her parents paid for this?
In junior year she then ‘came out, '
declared she was a lesbian,
though even with her girlfriend there
I noticed her still eying men.
When I suggested that she should
be herself and not jump on trends
she began screeching endlessly,
for weeks it went on, without end.
She clung to this for two whole years,
despite constant cheating with guys,
which brought drama with her girlfriend,
of the domestic violence kind.
Women spurned are a great fury,
two of them a form of pure hell,
any seeing my niece and her
knew that it would not end that well.
But to the close she insisted
she was empowered to choose her love,
only arrest for battery
convinced her that she'd had enough.

You think after all this nonsense
she'd calm down, and choose to mature,
but some can't live being at fault,
and still more there was to endure.
Deciding she was straight again,
she set out to lock down a guy,
but as she went she was dismayed,
and soon enough my niece did find
that men look at a woman's past,
place great stress on their loyalty,
that women with forty partners
were not a good bet for their money.
Sure they would take my niece to bed,
she'd never had trouble with that,
but not a one would marry her,
by her thirties it looked really bad.
Yet then my niece proclaimed loudly
that you 'didn't need fathers' these days,
empowered mothers on their own
were proudly blazing a new way.
We tried to talk her out of this,
told of troubles that she would face,
how hard it was to raise a kid,
what likely would be that kid's fate.
Like always, she didn't listen,
went ahead and had a child,
now lives on welfare and complains,
blames men, and speaks of them vile.
We have little contact with her,
she is a living detriment,
thank God my daughter chose to wed,
escaped all this ‘empowerment.'

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Topic(s) of this poem: political,choice,failure,tradition,wisdom,women,heartbreak,conflict,confusion,truth,rhyme
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