Monthly Archives: June 2014

Eldercare: The Forgotten Feminist Issue.

hoodfeminism

(This was written late last year; I pitched it a few places but received little interest. I’m posting it here because, well, it’s an important conversation.)

One of my favorite pictures of my mom. Mom, back in the day.

As I write this my mother is fast asleep in a nursing home, her third stint in 15 months. It is a heartbreaking thing, watching your parent slowly succumb to her mortality. You try to prepare yourself for the call you’ll get in the middle of the night from a nurse reluctant to give you the news you’ve been dreading for years. But no amount of preparation will ready you for that call. No amount of alcohol will lessen the pain. Even writing about it is hard because it forces you to deal with an absolute, inescapable truth. She is dying, and you are powerless to stop it.

The woman I now visit several times a week is not…

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A Girl My Age

All at once...

For Maya

A girl my age.

A girl the age I was

when I first saw her story.

I was a girl vacationing in Cape Cod with my family.

She was a girl in St. Louis Missouri

On a television screen,

but real as life

for a girl my age

watching a girl my age with a family,

be taken

but not destroyed.

A girl my age stopped talking for years

but never stopped communicating.

A girl my age went away

yet never left.

A girl my age

returned with words overflowing

returned with wisdom

never knowing

how she would shape the world,

returned with her own life

in her own hands

and her own voice.

A girl my age,

long since a woman

now passed on

and newly reborn

in the voices of women like me,

who spin silence into power.

-ZG

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