I wrote this poem while navigating the justice system - going through court - and every stakeholder: judge, clerk, lawyer, social worker gave me a different version of the law, each convinced that theirs was correct.
The well-meaning advice from my (wonderful) support system was 'don't make them angry'. And so I didn't. Until I realised that holding back wasn't helping me or anyone else. Until I realised that there wasn't anything wrong with me, that there's something wrong with the system.
I recently read that we shouldn't be afraid of anger. Anger is like a roadmap, it shows us where our boundaries are.
- UNTITLED -
Keep quiet – they said.
Don’t be angry.
Don’t piss them off.
So I didn’t
I gulped down my anger
like a fish bone stuck in my throat
that no amount of water could wash down
And I choked down their dismissal
of my truth
And I apologised
before and after
every word I uttered
that made them uncomfortable
And I endured their outbursts
in flinching silence
as their angry stares figuratively
whipped me into submission
yes yes yes
I ground out through clenched teeth
while tears of anger burned down my cheeks
that I hoped they’d interpret
as sadness instead
Because ‘sad’ is what was prescribed
Cry – don’t scream – they said
because if you’re a woman
sadness will get you everywhere
and anger will get you nowhere
But what they don’t know
and what I didn’t know
Sad Women go nowhere
And Angry Women Change The World
Watch out World.