In honoring the UN’s International Day of the Girl, I wrote this second poem in response to Susan Daniel’s Poetry Blogpost. It struggles with the emotions a young mother would feel for a beloved brother who not only participates in but profits from the practice of child marriage. It is a system that must be eradicated. When our girls are safe from such predatory behavior, when our girls and women, both young and old, have the right to decide their futures, then our relationships with our brothers will be celebrated. Thank you for listening. Thank you for taking this issue into your heart and mind.
The wonderful David Bauman (who today is reading at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA, sent me a link to a post on Susan Daniels’ Poetry Blog inviting women poets to write a poem about child marriage or child brides in honor of the UN’s International Day of the Girl.
This was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on an agonizing subject. Some of you will know that the Elders, an international, interfaith group of Senior States Men and Women are working hard to eradicate this tribal custom where it flourishes in our world.
This is an issue of power, male dominance and tribal custom which masquerades as a religious issue. I have longed for a way and a place to speak to this, but I speak best through verse. With Dave’s urging, I wrote, we recorded and he posted to my wonderful new Youtube Channel. (more about that later!) Here is the first of two poems: This one’s entitled: The Petals of My Daughter. On this day dedicated to empowering the voices and actions of our daughters, let us work to make the world safe for them.