“I was born a woman…”

There is a poem that begins with the line “I was born a woman…” as the prompt.  Each woman could write her own rendition beginning with this line. A man is invited to write his poem “I was born a man…” If anyone takes this dare, please respectfully share in the comments. Thanks.

I was born a woman.
I screamed and my scream was
shoved back down my throat
into my belly where it stayed
a silent shriek forever.

I was born a woman
without a pen or a voice
or a book to read.
A secret song fluttered 
in a quiet corner of my heart
but didn’t dare sing itself.

I was born a woman
stolen from myself
by the man called father
–acceptable trade in this land.
Nothing belonged to me
not my children
nor land
nor this body.

I was born a woman–
dependent, follower, secondhand,
disposable, meek, humble…
none of this by choice
as some would have you believe.

I was born a woman
I played with herbs quietly,
dug my fingers into damp musty earth
secretly brewed teas
to abort his babies.

I was born a woman.
When they found me out,
they called me witch.  
My one act of defiance
discovered and now I lie
swollen and discolored at the
bottom of the lake.
Bound to a stone.
I passed their test,
I’m not a witch,
it’s only that I was born a woman.

by Christine O’Brien
2011

2 thoughts on ““I was born a woman…”

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