Creative Work: ‘lessons from mum (the hardest poem I’ve ever wrote)’ by Yessica Klein

Creative WorksThis week we have a poem from the talented writer and photographer Yessica Klein.

The power of this poem comes from its potent honesty. As a discussion of feminism through the view of someone not familiarised with the lofty theories behind it, this poem shines a refreshing and forceful light on the core of relationships between mother and daughter.

lessons from mum (the hardest poem I’ve ever wrote)

mum married a man who drank as her father
whom she lost at 15 due to alcohol poisoning

motherhood was her dream
so she gave up her job to raise her daughters properly
and both left
one to Berlin
one to Stockholm
at 22 and 20 respectively

I caught her crying twice
yet mum always said
she never regretted any of her choices

didn’t like us to wear only pink
encouraged us to be footballers, adventurers, artists, witches, pirates
told us to talk back to whatever shit boys were on about
and when I cut my hair really short
she said she loved it.

never gave a lecture on genderless anything.

kept silently fighting
knitting through another drunk argument
cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner
opening him yet another bottle of wine
silently fighting
and me and my sister grew up warriors as well.

mum raised us to be the woman she wasn’t
and made sure her mistakes would never be ours.

never mentioned feminism,
that intellectual word.

Yessica’s fresh perspective on female empowerment, although tinged with darkness, conveys the hope given to future generations of women. This beautiful piece shows how the strong women of our past have helped shape a stronger future. 

Join us again next week for another empowering piece!


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