Your Ma has been to war kid,

A tiny counter on the board.

Where every patriarchal move,

Was conducted with applaud.

Her shell a woman’s figure,

A toy for gazing and consumption.

This body brings vile attention,

They all forgot to mention.

Your Ma has been to battle kid,

Though not on the frontline.

Memories etched, cerebral scars,

Ache from time to time.

Offensive names cast at her,

Ensnared her like a net.

Tarnishing her identity,

She shrinks while under threat.

Your Ma has been in conflict kid,

The ammunition that was used –

Flippant actions and forgotten words,

Leaving her broken and confused.

Her experiences discounted,

The narratives ignored.

Messaging and social norms,

Made it seem that she was flawed.

Your Ma has had to fight kid,

Rebuilding her own mind,

Overcoming internal chatter,

Which was rarely ever kind.

She questions the validity,

Of her seething inner world.

On top of countless violations,

Doubt and silence have been hurled.

Your Ma must end this war kid,

Though she fears the same for you.

Our socially constructed sphere

Still shaped by the male point of view.

So with your feminine spirit,

Warrior on into the furore,

Don’t stay silent or alone, my dear,

Unheard victims no more.

Poem by Sam Massey

Art by Mina Banisaeid