Today, I am
An International Woman.
Standing up to celebrate
The things we have in common
And finding that I’m speechless
With something to observe
In the sense of recognition
We all rightly deserve.
The World Order of things,
Gendered language and permissions,
Enough to start a dialogue
On pre-set dispositions;
The sedimented learning
Of values, expectations,
Still blithely underestimating
Half the population…
Stark, then, the contrast
With my own sense of of place,
Of personal entitlement,
The liberty to embrace
Opportunities for learning
As much as for choice:
My Right to Education,
My Right to a Voice.
The how I take for granted
The boldness of my words,
A space to articulate,
Expecting to be heard.
Unquestioned rights to freedom
Taking risks of my own
Barely ever thinking
These seeds might not be sown.
So this would be the moment
For me to keep my silence,
To clear the room for someone else
To voice their sentiments,
A shared sense of identity
The sum of single parts:*
So much greater than the whole.
Perhaps that’s where it starts?


*- in order of appearance


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