I Am the Answer, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.” Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation President & CEO



They come like thistle and thorn,

and write their rage upon my body.

They come like locusts and

feed on the fields of my soul.

Like an angry storm, they drown me.

Like the desert sands, they sufficate me.

They see me, a little person of

little consequence …

a girl.

Just a trinket, a toy, a receptical.

Something to sell, buy, and trade …

a workhorse.

– But hear me –

I am the answer.

I am the calm after the storm.

I am the antidote to your stone heart

and desiccated soul.

I am the future, the present, the past.

I am the hope, the dream, the reality.

I am authentic.

I am human.

I am the answer.

~ As the women go, so goes the world ~

© 2010, Jamie Dedes; illustration courtesy of Mohamed Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan, Public Domain Pictures.net

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

“There are more than 500 million adolescent girls living in the developing world today. Every one of them can potentially help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, with ripple effects multiplying across her society.” Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

In November 2010, I wrote I Am the Answer for a Universal Children’s Day event sponsored by UNICEF. It’s not that men don’t make constructive contributions. It’s not that boys and men don’t suffer.  It’s just that we’ve seen what a difference it makes in the lives of all children and the grown-ups they become – no matter the gender – when women are respected, educated, and not forced into marriage. What difference would it make if women and girls were not looked down upon within their cultures, religions, the workplace, and government? What difference would it make in the world if girls were always and everywhere seen as fully human. Tell us in your poem/s.

Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme are published on the first Tuesday following the current Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Please no oddly laid-out poems.)

 No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published. 

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, May 20 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


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15 Comments on “I Am the Answer, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fourth response:

    She Hurt

    cradled in their arms her pain
    gets up and swims around the room.

    It swims from her head, beneath her skin,
    Her skin is the yellow ocean that bleeds.

    Fish rises in the sky a summer
    Fish dives under the earth a winter

    Her mother drips breastmilk into a cup
    to feed her hurt baby.

    Many hands wish to hold the pain,
    Lift up the wounded body.

    Wishes are wrapped in colour.
    Yellow ghosts look on beside
    plants ready to flower.

    From my forthcoming collection “Fish Strawberries”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jamie, here’s my submission, entitled
    “Had You Been A Boy” I’m not sure it’s
    Exactly what you wanted.

    Had you been boy we’d have called
    you Jeff. I was sorry for the theft
    that resulted in a nest, while her past
    desires, the freedom, the joy, the
    dancing, all arrested by not so gentle
    a man’s theft, and repeatedly attested
    to, while unpaid, unearned damages left,
    a girl’s desire not to conspire to the same
    mistakes, yet though a mark was left.
    I am Woman, I am Strong, my mind
    and body my own, lessons learned
    from the nest. I harken, to my own drum,
    unlike others like our mother’s, that we
    will never forget, and that singularly
    innocent, yet flippant remark,
    “Had you been a boy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    Liberty

    is a woman holding up a torch
    in a harbour whilst she is not free
    in certain states to have control
    over her own body.

    Justice

    is a woman who holds the scales
    blindfolded and dumb.

    I am not a statues so carry the torch with my words

    and clearly see my future
    decided by me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Respected Jamie Ji
    First Response

    It’s a girl,
    O’hurry put her beneath the sand
    Oh, no one can stand or understand
    this creature, soft and tender
    I wonder why ?
    when life is so grand.
    Girls ,mothers daughters
    sisters and wives,
    Can life move on without these five?
    The land of Faith The land of oil
    Did they really bury their daughters
    alive?
    Girls are the lively spirits
    of a home or castles at heights
    girls are Goldilocks Cinderellas
    and Snow Whites
    They are Queens Ranis and First ladies
    blacks or whites-
    When girls are born moods are forlorn
    bringing up a burden in a teacup , a storm,
    Then sold tortured and finally given away
    Where is a girl’s real home, to stay?
    Born buried and barred,
    are they really so bad
    and scarred?
    Girls are sweet loving and kind
    I wish we would be soft tender
    and caring for them in
    our hearts and mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hello Jamie, Hope you are well. I like this prompt and have entered my response here. I had some art I created with computer technology but could not get it to appear here. Hope you are well.

    The Truth of Hindsight

    Hindsight is always better it is said
    always invoking in me the transgressions
    in my past of the egregious kind

    conceived into an ethnically diverse family
    curious of the differences, yet both drawn
    and repelled like a moth to a flame

    one of only a handful of such families
    in an all-white neighborhood
    though I did not distinguish it
    then

    my reddish skinned father and white mother
    craving more but for unspoken reasons
    spoken in private understanding

    she from impoverished beginnings
    he in accepting only European roots

    agreeing upon only one thing in union
    the dictates of societal norms for me
    a child of the female persuasion

    that marriage is best accepted sooner
    than later & children are part of the
    sanctioned outcome

    but mind you if such an arrangement
    is not a path upon which you wish to tread
    then only professions of nursing
    and teaching will suffice

    for creativity in writing or artistic endeavor
    will never sustain you in living
    and you would know this
    in hindsight

    now in hindsight I only understand that
    not everything that comes before
    is better than that which
    comes later

    in hindsight I wish I had known that
    choosing the passion of your heart
    over being accepted
    is what my path
    Should
    Have
    Been

    © Renee Espriu May 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jamie,

    This is closer to what you are after:

    In Charge of Her Own

    body.
    Her womb no longer
    the property of the law.

    No longer cut
    and shaped by knives.
    between her legs

    Her voice not silenced.
    Her opinions not downplayed
    as over emotional, unreasonable.

    Sometimes she does not feel
    in charge of her own body
    as it changes, but reminds herself
    she knows how to find the answer
    to the questions her body asks.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Jamie,

    Hope this is close to what you require:

    To And Fro

    the iron
    over bedsheets, his shirts,
    as she stands three hours

    hot poker of pain
    in the small of her back,
    lists what else to do,

    take down window nets,
    wash and iron,
    vax front room,
    lug it upstairs for bedroom,
    carpets,
    hoover front room,
    lug it upstairs for bedroom
    carpets,
    clean windows inside
    to and fro,
    to and fro
    polish beneath knick knacks
    bought on holiday,
    to and fro
    strip and remake beds,
    make his tea,
    always meat and two veg

    He arrives home and says,
    “What have you ever done for me?”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Respected Jamie Ji,
    striking and powerful prompt, it touches sharply like a serpent’s sting , cajoles calmly the poetic instincts, making one surrender to the soul and spirit saying, ‘I am the wanted and the unwanted’

    Liked by 1 person

Thank you!

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