Friday, August 08, 2014

The Well Articulated Woman

Quite a few years ago now, back when my kids were teenagers, I wrote a poem which was a tongue-in-cheek take on motherhood and aging. I wrote out the piece in large coptic book which doesn't travel as much as it should when I teach because it never fits the small spaces left in my carry on. I've been thinking about it today because of work I've seen on one of the Facebook groups I recently joined (The Enchanted Imaginarium). For the book I made a paper doll to add to each page and they were jointed and 'articulated' to play on the themes in the poem. It seems appropriate to share this as I've spent aweek at the cottage with my parents and my daughter and various bits and pieces of family and have felt very much like the filling in some sort of slightly dysfunctional sandwich whilst also coping with a kidney stone and trying to be largely invisible. So with no further ado...

The Well Articulated Woman

The well articulated woman must be centered and centering...
She must know all, see all, do all.
She must be at the center of all things, for all people, for all time,
yet remain largely invisible.
She must control the ripples and make no waves.

She must choose her words carefully, question but not confront,
have opinions but not be opinionated, educated but not learned.
She may find this puzzling.

She must embrace the myriad traditions of her tribe and cook for them,
clean for them, suffer for them.
She must make the ancestors proud, her progeny guilty and all festivals perfect.
She should be a saint, a martyr, an avenging angel and a pastry chef.

She must swim in deep water and it should be hot.
She should dive in without looking.
She may not use floatation devices.
There will be no life guards.
She must kick harder and swim farther - she may not tread water.
Floating and drifting aimlessly does not look good with cellulite.
She must not sail, but if she does, others will make waves.

She must live in the maze.
She must sojourn not knowing her destination.
She must pack for all climates and occasions,
but not ask for help carrying the load.
If she chooses sensible shoes she must walk
through the Valley of Scorn.
She must not ask for directions.

When she falls apart,....

She can reinvent herself any way she wants.

Cherryl Moote


  1. Excellent! Been there, done that.

  2. 'Tongue in cheek' perhaps, but also very...very...poignant.


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