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And if you are reading this
then it must mean that somehow
I found a way to not hold my peace

it’s overdue
most of the clothes don’t fit anymore
though you refuse to let me give them away
some parts of this house have corroded
nothing lasts forever
and it took me years,
but I’ve consigned the floor plan
of our days to memory
I can almost see in the pitch dark now
and move in the small hours
without tripping over and hurting myself
on the furniture, no matter
how many times you rearrange it

I tried to use reason
tried to tell you what time it is
time to put your trust in me
and believe you raised me well
enough for me to have a future
worthy of your sacrifices

but why is it so difficult for you
to accept that I made this decision
with both eyes open,
if you raised me so unforgivingly
to be a thinking woman

I tried to speak my heart
you and I were never like that
I never even had any memories of you
holding me as a child
and I’ve stopped wondering why
but I thought maybe
if I told you how happy he makes me
you’d recognize the selfsame deep love
you had when you made up your mind
to marry Daddy

but how can you be so unwilling
to believe that I prayed
ten thousand earnest prayers
and this man was the answer
that God sent him to me
when you raised me with an iron fist
to be a God-fearing woman

he adores me
he improves me
and our love is true
strong enough to face the future
but you
can’t see past how different we are
and you won’t even try

why does the he say, she say matter
so much more than my happiness
why does your right and wrong bend
to conform to the contours
of other people’s judgement
and is the new golden rule
do unto others what you don’t want
others to say about you

you’re supposed to have taught me
better than that

and if this house has become too small
to contain both my bliss and your prejudice
then let me give you some space
I’ll never forget that I owe you my life
but that’s also why I don’t mean to stay
and spend the rest of my years
blaming you for how empty they are.

“Escape from Barcelona” by photographer Jan Geerk