For the woman I am told is my enemy
I am not at war with you
—though I have been told that I am.
I refuse to be drawn into a battle, no matter how subtle, how old.
When I am tempted to feel small in the light of your life, perhaps, your beauty—the way in which you have been shaped, the way in which we are different, I will hold your face tenderly between my hands and see myself reflected in your eyes.
When your failures escape their hiding place, and they will, I shall tuck them in behind my own.
They will be safe with me.
My hands want to use rocks to build cairns.
—small altars to holy things.
My mouth is not a home for arrows, my heart is a fertile place, and yours
is a tender one, just like mine.
I will not give my name to anything that will make either of us eat shame.
I will not be given a thousand small wars with someone else’s name on them.
If you want to, I will let you see all the little fears that eat at my bones.
Afterwards, we can sit by the fire, drink tea, knit all the lies into soft blankets
—cover our children.
© Liezel Graham 2021
a few thoughts from my journal this week.
you know all those subtle ways in which women are told we are *actually* at war with each other? that we have to be thinner, smarter, have better homes, more degrees, more money than each other? that if we don’t believe in the same God, or don’t believe at all, or wear revealing clothes, or wear things that cover us from head to toe, that we are enemies, that we have to anticipate attack.
they are lies.
women are played against each other every single day.
magazines are full of it.
social media is full of it.
let’s just stop it.
the power lies in our hands and in our mouths.
we are daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers.
we are many things, but we are not enemies.
we have been told that other women are our enemy.
they are not.