Crossing Continents*

I am woman
Don’t you know-*
Because they hardly ever show
The plight of my kind across the world.
We are rarely headline news,
More decorative, to amuse,
And all too frequently referred to
As ‘girls’…
Though before I start lamenting,
I’d rather set about preventing
Any self-diminution we impose.
Have we done this to ourselves
As much as being done-by?
Heaven knows.
Reading daily news
Is perhaps bound to confuse,
Banner headlines with photos to support
The challenge faced by men,
On whom the world depends
Perhaps because they’re very good at sport…
The woman, meanwhile,
Equal talent, different style,
Are rarely, if ever, given clarity:
Just a spotlight of their own
For a splendid gala gown,
Or perhaps for a public act of charity.
We’re long-supposed by now
To be doing it for ourselves
And equally, enabling one another:
Should we shout from the roof-tops
Or take the world by stealth
Or simply carry on under cover…?
I make these observations
From the safety of a space
I’ve long occupied,
Though not always with grace,
Wondering at the fate
Of my Sisters overseas,
Whose husbands, brothers, sons,
Screened daily with their pleas,
Cross continents in their thousands
Leaving womenfolk behind-

It’s a puzzling affair
And very much on my mind…


*Opening lines attributed to Helen Ready

*The’migrant crisis’ has been a feature of news headlines for a long time, with no real signs of a positive solution

The lack of news coverage on the specific plight of women is palpable.

And the beat goes on…



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