Through the Open Window

Whatever happens, we need to rise and make sure the window that has been opened never closes again. Eve Ensler, Oct 5, 2018

Today the world is seeing
through the open window
what was always there,
blurred by such a dirty pane.

Daddies proclaiming to daughters:
“I know my rights.”
Daddies grabbing daughters—
tickling under their shirts while they scream.
After the bath, Daddies flapping the towel,
looking them over with ownership.
Daddies teaching daughters
they belong to him.
Grabbing daughters’ girlfriends
invited to stay for supper,
giving sudden kisses. Teaching how his rights
extend to any girl or woman of his choosing.
Small men, shouting it,
“I know my rights.”
He knew his rights but she
had never heard tell of hers.

Today the world is seeing,
through the open window,
what was there but blurred.

Dates that become rape, but never labeled that,
Daddy’s rights extended to another man.
Children born of rape, guarded from ever knowing,
children told a fairy tale of romance
that the now-numbed, grown-up daughter
for decades, made herself believe.
He knew his rights, but she
had never heard tell of hers.

Today the world is seeing,
through the open window,
what was there but blurred.

Daddies parading about with bathrobes open,
emperor-kings of their pursestring castles,
laughable to sons but not to daughters,
teaching both, who has rights to whom.
Daughters’ sense of self annihilated
before it ever has a chance to grow.
Daughters taught unworthiness
in a million tiny ways.
Daughters like me and you
who learned to compress our presence,
to be wary and cautious, constrict who we were.
He knew his rights but I
had never heard tell of mine.

Today the world is seeing,
through the open window,
what was there but blurred.
Now we keep the window open.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

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