Kim MacKinnon

“Rural Regularity”

Let me tell you about
rural Island women
and their lack for revision
of the situation
many find themselves in
with their rigid rules and regularity
on how loved ones
and not so loved neighbours
expect them to be
these carbon copies
of each other
or replicas of their mothers
and the rest of the femmes
in the family tree

Surprisingly
even in the 21st century
such women settle
for a twisted grace
of last place
and first overlooked
rather than make
the free choice
for a voice
in being exactly
who they once
wished to be
instead of empty
and swilling the sherry
during those tv afternoon stories

Not every woman
wanted to give up education
and a liberating occupation
no woman expected
the hit and run
loveless husband
and 2.2 children conclusion
as often as they popped pills
in orderly fashion
just to smile
and deal with denial
of looking nothing but
black, blue and bruised
or just feeling unfulfilled

Let me tell you again about
rural Island women’s
hearts so full
and eyes so empty
how they cry silently
as much as they clean,
sew, bake, pray,
or raise and live through
their children
or how they wait
and waste time
on husbands
who cheat and galavant
or just never care for them
beyond the value
of a cook and maid’s wage
given every now and then
in simple attempts
to queerly comfort
and balance her moods
along with the cheque book

I don’t have to even
voice or claim comparison
over how lonely
yet liberal
my own life has been
in difference with these
other Island women
or how secretly
and occasionally
I would have liked
to identify
with the more positive side
of them
while in the end
they wish
that they could be
a little like me
the pariah black sheep
who does what she does
with the secrets she keeps
in a glass closet
but then again
I bet that too
would make the neighbours talk
and run with another story
hither and yon
even more amusingly
like a tragic comedy
that melodramatically
through word of mouth
lives and writes itself

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