Calling My Sister (or, Women Observed in a Chat Room)

I saw the word
full of light,
inscribed on an empty white page,
roundly formed and concise.
Such a lovely word.
It illuminated my night.

If I had a sister what would she say?
I would ask her to come beside me and stay.
I would see the world through her different eyes
and I’d hope that her words would be wise.
I would listen to her advice.

The world is full of ‘Sisters’
That’s what I hear them saying
“Sisters doing it for themselves”
Sisters, Goddesses, Earth Mothers
That’s what I heard them say.

They are better than you or I, little brother.
Little brother, we’re lost.

Yet I can’t help noticing something else.
I see them betray each other,
telling each other lies,
as they warmly embrace and smile.
I see their ambitions writ large
as they stab each others backs
and argue the details of facts,
dividing in feminist factions.
This is sure to be controversial,
But I’d hoped they’d be better than that.

If I had a sister I’d ask her to visit.
I’d hope she was kind,
I’d hope she was honest,
I’d hope she knew how to keep her own promise.
I’d hope she knew the right way, to be strong,
nor precisely the same perhaps,
but the same general direction
as you and I, my brother.

“The sisters of virtue they are not departed or gone.”
Those are some words from an old song.
Perhaps they will cease to subvert each other
the day we all stand up together,
the day we are all clear and strong,
clear, strong and united
with one word writ large on that page
against oppression.
who love one another.


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