Invisible Boundaries – A poem by Jessica Tietjen
We may have escaped and broken free
From the cage that we could see
But beyond the cage lies an invisible boundary
A boundary and barrier that are hidden carefully
This boundary, this barrier was created intentionally
To keep us trapped and stuck within
Unable to escape, to move beyond where we have been
To believe that we are finally free
When in reality we just can’t see
We can’t see the ways we are still trapped
Trapped by our own ability to adapt
Adapting to the hidden limits that appear natural
When really their benefits are actually unilateral
Their benefits only for those who create and keep them
To prevent us from seeing and bringing mayhem
For those who want us to believe we are free
That we should be happy and carefree
When in reality we are bound by this invisible line
Only able to see glimpses when we are not blind
When we are not blinded by their stories and illusions
The tales they tell of our freedoms and delusions
That our desire for more than what we have is unreasonable
That what we ask is unspeakable, unachievable, & inconceivable
That we already have all that we could possibly need
That we’ve been blessed with what’s already been agreed
And to ask for more only demonstrates our greed
We are free to vote, work, speak, own, and breed
What more do we need?
How dare we believe our voice carries weight
That our answer of “no” should stop rape
That our opinions and views might be considered first-rate
That we have the ability to change our own fate
How dare we ask for more protection
From abuse, rape, incest, and molestation.
That the actions were not the result of our instigation
That blaming the victim is just a deflection
How dare we want to be trusted and believed
For others to hear and witness how we were aggrieved
To believe our stories of being hurt and deceived
To recognize the pain, we’ve endured and received
How dare we demand retribution for crime
For abusers and rapists to receive adequate time
To prosecute and punish these crimes full-time
To recognize these crimes all the time.
How dare we demand equal pay the work we perform each day
For our superior, exceptional work, they consistently downplay
To receive the same recognition and opportunities in the workday
To speak of our success and not stay out of the way.
How dare we ask for more time after our babies are delivered
For the time we need to recover, nurture, heal and not be withered.
To be paid enough money to afford to take time
And not be forced to stop working or go part-time.
How dare we demand to feed our babies with the milk we create
For the time we need to adequately acclimate.
To be given the time and necessary break
For pumping our breasts while you patiently wait.
How dare we ask to return to our jobs without a set-back
For the ability to continue and keep our careers on track
How dare we need something different in terms of support
For the opportunity to prevent our careers being cut short
How dare we demand better choices for childcare
For money, time, and access to places with quality care.
To ensure children grow up safe and unharmed
To allow us to focus on work and not be concerned or alarmed.
How dare we demand and need quality maternal medical care
For the doctors, medicine, pre- and post-natal care
To prevent unnecessary death of new mothers everywhere
To monitor for depression without judgement and with due care.
How dare we need empathy and support for what we’ve endured
For care and compassion and to be reassured
To have our concerns heard and not obscured
To get what is truly necessary in order to be cured
How dare we think our experiences with pain should be heard
For our stories to be accepted not twisted and blurred
To know that our mental health is more than just a catchword
To receive mental and spiritual support for all we’ve endured.
How dare we demand crazy not be how we are defined
For the traumas we’ve carried in our heart, body, and mind
To provide real care that can heal all of humankind
To receive compassion for how we’ve been maligned.
How dare we want to decide with our mind about our body
For we are more equipped than anybody, everybody, and somebody
To decide what we need given our unique situation
To be free to choose without damnation.
How dare we demand the right to decide
With our doctor’s advice as our guide
For the right to decide what happens to our bodies on the inside
For the right to decide who will live and who will die
For no one should have to make this decision, this choice
But the only answer lies in the patient’s voice
How dare we want to be considered in decisions of the court
Even though we were never even considered at the start
That at the time we were little more than a life escort
That our perspectives and opinions did not require support
How dare we demand that our voices should be heard
That our opinions and needs are not absurd
That although we’ve been quieted, we’ll have the last word
That we have the roar of a lion, not a little lovebird
How dare we…
But do we dare?
Will we dare?
What will we dare?
After more than 200 years, we’ve not yet remedied these atrocities
For to remedy these wrongs, we must admit their inadequacies
That they did not know then what we know now is true
That the world they created failed to consider another point of view.
That when they made their decisions and when they began it
That they did not consider the perspective of half the beings on the planet
And in this decision, they created a world inherently broken
Which now requires that we become outspoken.
Will we dare to believe that our voices can be heard
That our needs and demands are not absurd
That we must rise up, see, and speak to the invisible
The barrier they pretend isn’t real or visible
But somewhere deep down we all know it’s there
We all feel this hidden and invisible barrier
When we start to push beyond what we’ve known
We feel the boundary hold us as real and hard as stone
If we want to truly expand into our rightful place in this world
We must destroy the invisible boundaries created by our old world
By destroying these limits we’ll transform the world for the best
A world where our daughters will not be oppressed.
If we want to finally make this world right
We must accept our role in this special fight
We must step into our power and light
We must fully accept our birthright
Our right to be considered fully for the unique ability of childbirth
Our right to be seen, heard, valued, and demonstrate our worth
Our right to protection anywhere on earth
Our right to change the world and initiate a re-birth
Our right to stand side by side as equal beings on this earth
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