may you rise

outside looking in

i have no idea how you suffered

in your journey to womanhood


my wife

my daughters

my sisters

my mother


how can i ever really empathise?


no one forced me to do anything

advanced their power at me



i held the privilege of being





i could have been the predator



and if i’m brutally honest

in my mind at times

I was


but i was blessed

with women in my life

who showed me

how to hold sacred the feminine


and so i unlearned

a story of generations

that said the opposite


i’m sorry for all those dicks


my son is not one of them


it’s the best i could do

break that chain


forgive my own blood

and begin afresh


Sherry over at The Toads offers us this prompt.

There was a lot to be discouraged about in 2017, but one positive is the rise of the “Me, Too” movement, revealing how many women have experienced some form of sexual abuse, harassment or assault.
Women’s strength and courage is validated by the Time Magazine devoting its cover this week to honour The Silence Breakers. Woman-strong, they stand together to acknowledge the brave actresses naming their abusers. The mighty are falling.
The rise of this movement, during a year when the political regime is trying to roll women’s rights back into the 1950’s, is stirring our souls. The “Me, too” movement includes just about everyone we know – millions of women are coming into the light of day and speaking out. We are saying “Enough!”
So this is your moment to howl, my friends. Write your poem about any aspect of women’s lives, our voices, our stories, our silencing, and/or our speaking out that you wish. Hear us roar!
We welcome, of course, the viewpoints of our men poets. It is not only girls and women who suffer. Nobody wins in a climate of fear, oppression and abuse.




7 thoughts on “may you rise

  1. Sherry Blue Sky says:

    Paul, I am so glad you responded to this prompt. Your poem expresses all that is fine and good in men. I love that the women in your life showed you how to “hold sacred the feminine.” I so love that line, and love that through your awareness and consciousness, you broke the chain and raised a fine son. I so love your poem. Thank you for writing it and adding your wise loving voice to the conversation.

  2. Jim says:

    It’s a tough way these ladies have, Paul. As far as I know these five of my children have not been instrumental in situations of shame. One daughter when young fell under the sway of a neighboring teen. The police said he was of inferior mental capacity and we should, if he sought treatment, not press charges. I have worried some about a job situation the other daughter might have almost been in a bad situation similar to those that these Time ladies are telling of.
    The major sway women in my life was Mom, next is Mrs. Jim. I have begun but probably will never finish it, my memoirs telling of the influence of all the ladies in my life. Parts of the beginning draft are on line, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before; . . . . Who travelled in and out my door, I’m glad they came along. (song by Willie Nelson) . . . . .”

  3. Rommy says:

    I see my husband and my son – two very different men who grew up in different times. And their talks hearten me, as does this poem. These are conversations that need to happen.

  4. E says:

    Thanks for taking this on Paul. The best thing men can do, we can all do, is continue being honest even if we’ve been wrong. It’s a sign of maturity and hope when we can own our part and declare new intention.

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