Values - Poem by Lauren Prue
My mother once told me
No one would wed a woman overweight
She rationed my meals,
To keep my form, she siad.
I never understood
Why I should care
About my form or who to wed
At the simple age of ten.
When I started school,
I brought home my report cards.
I was proud, all perfect marks,
My mohter shook her head.
A girl who is too smart will not be respected, she said.
I used to fight with my brother
Over the radio set.
My mother made me leave the room.
A woman too outspoken
WIll be slighted, she said.
So here I sit, at the cafe with my mother.
Herself 53 and aging, I only 24.
We hadnt spoken in several years.
Not since I married Paul,
A grade school teacher in a nearby county.
So things are forgiven, she asked with a sigh.
I said mother, why is it that all throughout my life
You've told me how I shouldn't be me?
She sat for a mintue, then 5, then 10.
Finally she repiled, 'Becuase that's what my mother told me.'
And then I saw she realized,
About 53 years too late,
I could see the understanding grow in her pained eyes
And then a sad smile formed on her wrinkled lips
She let out a worn-out sigh.
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