Women: Past, Present, Future


He never saw her / A hidden figure

though there she was / in plain sight

his property, to do his bidding /  a body, with a brain though

she smiled meekly, got his coffee before he asked / she could outthink him any day

he glared when she dared to speak or dream / she wanted to learn all she could

he told her to sit down and be quiet /  so she persisted

he put his hands up her skirt and laughed /  and she tried to resist

he beat her / she fought back when she could

he told her he was in charge / she tried to change the system

men were always at the top / she educated her daughters and her sons

the world depended on it /  they had to be bold for change



A cleave poem for International Women’s Day 2017. The theme for 2017 is “be bold for change.” A cleave poem is three poems in one–left side, right side, and the full lines.

Today’s Google Doodle was a slide show featuring women of diverse backgrounds.










31 thoughts on “Women: Past, Present, Future

  1. A very powerful message Merril…imagine, we did not get the vote til 1920 thanks to the suffragettes. We have to keep on moving up.

  2. And here I thought these indecencies women suffered through in America were more or less a thing of the past! Your courageous poem addresses the ongoing battles women face. I love the idea of a mother educating her sons and daughters. Now, more than ever, fathers must get involved in the invaluable lessons taught to children, as well.

  3. A powerful poem Merril. The cleave works extremely smoothly. Of the three poems my favorite is the one on the right as an assertion of her survival and resistance.

    • Thank you, Janice. And thanks for your close reading. That is my favorite one, too. I saw a story yesterday about a group of “grandmothers” in a village in India. Some were in their 90s, and they were just going to school. Many couldn’t see that well, so learning to read was difficult, but they can all now write their names.

      • Literacy worldwide and education of women and girls are important concerns. You bring up a sad but beautiful example…I will never forget my excitement learning to read at a much younger age. Everyone should have that opportunity.

  4. This cleave poem had excellent points and horrendous elements. Sadly, one of my daughters and one of my dearest friends have been inappropriately touched (first case) and my friend was raped.

    I wasn’t able to make my rounds but my foot after the work accident is on the mend and a week later after two different car towing incidents, I bought a gently used car. Just going through these small bumps in the road make me acknowledge that others roads and journeys are so much more challenging. Thanks for letting me know about the Google slideshow. I will see if perhaps it is still available.
    One of the two girls featured in my doors post two days ago is having her 6 the birthday party today. Thank goodness I don’t have to call, ask for ride or walk. There is some sun but rather briskly cold outdoors.

    • Sorry to hear about your foot, Robin. I’m glad it’s healing, and I’m happy for you that you got a new (gently used) car.
      It got very cold here, too, and we had snow yesterday!
      Happy Birthday to the 6-year-old birthday girl!

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