Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Playing Make Believe"

“I still think it's important for people to have a sharp, ongoing critique of marriage in patriarchal society — because once you marry within a society that remains patriarchal, no matter how alternative you want to be within your unit, there is still a culture outside you that will impose many, many values on you whether you want them to or not. ” ― bell hooks

Playing Make Believe

She has walked down aisles all her life
Narrow passageways that boxed her in
To mold her into the image of
A wife perfected
And Dutiful
A symbol of purity
But also someone to desire
Keep him interested and engaged
Make him want to stay

She plays pretend until she believes
In her own make believing
That who she is to him,
Is who she really is

If he is satisfied.
Then she is satisfied.

And she carries on this way
Even when he takes glances
At other “opportunities”
Other bodies, other beings, other hearts
That might play the part
Better than she can

She can’t see past the game playing
She’s taught her heart to bend so it will never break
And to smile and be okay with
And mean while she hides her aching
for a sign that says she’s the one
She changed his mind
Helped him find
His doubt was wrong
All he was looking for was in her all along
She wants from him
A union of their hearts
Til death do us part,
Holy matrimony
To keep her secure,
To know he is sure

This union of beings
under patriarichal practice
Blesses and sanctifies unions
With societal expectations.

She believed it was more about
seeing two spirits connecting
And celebration of commitment to grow in
Life's understanding
To be supported and cared for,
through days that are trying
And days that are joyful
Where love is supposed to be the center,
But now she looks at how marriages
Are mortgages
and down payments
and prenuptials
and insurance
and wills

Because the only way to make marriage
'Til death and past death
Are written contracts
that have been made up
because agreements are binding
And so marriage becomes
numbers and letters on paper
and hearts are left out of the equation

But regardless of what they say

Contracts can be broken
Bindings can be broken
Paper can be broken
And thus marriage can be broken

She makes her heart bend further
So her heart will not be broken

She looks back and
It hasn’t changed in any way
From Dowries
to Marriage making Kings of men
Daughters for a sum of gold and goods given
And land for her hand
Arrangements were made
So the best matches would be made
And it never had to do with love
But just material and title gains

She was taught marriage was meant
to sanctify love
and create promises to care for
And she really believed
She tries still to believe
That he’s out there

And he is out there
But because he has been taught that marriage
Is giving up on what else is out there
And in his make believing
That ring transforms her
Into a ball and chain
Where he’s tied down
And whipped
Where he is forced to be faithful
Because of this
Marriage becomes a prison
And who wants to rush into being behind bars?
And so he doesn’t want any commitment
Not now
Maybe never
He’s not ready to give up
All his freedom to love
One person forever?

She looks back and
It hasn’t changed in any way
From what past lives have seen
Man becomes king and womyn yes she is queen,
But she's still beside concubines, courtesans,
second, third, fourth and fifth ladies in waiting
It’s so aggravating
Because Man remains man and she becomes wife
She holds a title and he holds on to his being
Its hard to see love surviving with all of this
Injustice she’s seeing

And she looks at what he sees
And she doesn’t blame him

So she has been retaught
That all her ideas of what
love and commitment can bring
all of its growings and beauty
are washed away
and she begins to play
another game

She rejects ideas of marriage
And rejects ideas of love
And continues to make her heart bend
Without ever breaking

She plays pretend until she believes
In her own make believing
That who she is without love
Is really who she is

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