Hero Child

 
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Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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Published by Barabara Press
   

 

three kinds of women

how I longed to leave your dishonest, cowardly world behind
and the limited, arrogant frame of mind of your class

your male arrogance held an incomprehensible view of women
whom you divided into three categories: those you don’t touch
those you have sex with—and those whom you marry

full of yourself and your insane ideology
you warned me of these “three kinds of women”
in a sinister voice, over and over again
fanatically determined to make sure
that I stayed on the “right course” that would lead into marriage

you classified women by what kind of sex they offered
paid sex—or unpaid sex—or married sex
it determined in your mind a woman’s destiny and worth
how dare you find only three purposes for a woman’s life

in my forties and divorced
I showed a series of self-portraits to a photo class I attended
under one photo I had written your curse—I wanted to exorcise it
questions from the class—which kind of woman did you become?

as a teenager I had to listen to your sermon several times a year
it rolled over me with regular ferocity like a flood, year after year

you put your finger at your temple when I tried to talk to you
yet I had to listen politely to your narrow-minded bullshit
which you preached like a pope as eternal dogma

how I hated it—how I despised you
I gave up communicating with you—a man who ignored my life
to such a degree that he did not even bother to attend
my graduation, where I was a shining performer on the piano

why was it so important to you to program this curse into me?
I was taught to love and trust you
so your curse invaded me, despite my resentment
seized my brain and controlled me
especially after you fucked me—and I had to doubt
what kind of woman I had become
it made me your captive—it executed its destructive power
like a secret seed planted inside me that grew into an inner tyrant
who ruled my self-perception and my life
according to your plans—without my awareness

how many years was I powerless against your curse
how long did I remain at the mercy of your lies

but in my forties I furiously left behind the good daughter
like a snake abandons an old and useless skin
how shocked was I to realize that I had tried so long and hard
to fit into a skin that you designed and made me wear
it never was mine

tied no longer to the coercion
of worshiping the illusion of a benevolent father
I have freed myself from the tyranny of your curse

I have found another kind of woman—the liberated woman
her life can be anything she wants it to be
devoted to any profession
to anything and anyone she wants to devote it to
including herself

as I claim my power
I dedicate my life to nurture my true Self
and the true Selves of those I love and those I meet
and I devote my life to overcoming silences
within and around me

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood