August 20, 2002

reply to Service

A Reply to Robert Service

Dedicated to Jo March

There are women born that don't fit in
But unlike their brothers wild,
They're not allowed to run away;
They're bred for home and child.
They're taught to stay within the bounds,
To keep a house and hearth
And raised to find a husband's love
The highest form of worth

Though work she may, even climb the rungs
It's steadiness she learns to prize
A job near home, a steady wage
A life well-organized.
And as she's taught, so does she live
And what she does, does well
Unlike her brothers of gypsy blood
Who'd sooner stay in hell.

For though she loves her family,
Though her career succeeds
The tamer joys do not suffice
To fill her deepest need.
She never shares her yearning soul,
Her friends don't understand
A different breed, content, complete
Preferring birds in hand.

Some days she gets the yen to bolt
Her feet plain itch to roam
Her spirit strains at manacles
Forged of love and home.
She'd like to take the rover's road,
To leave her hearth and kin
To 'range the field and rove the flood'
And find where she fits in.

But home's a leash and job's a chain
And Duty's call is loud
And so she stays to satisfy
The sedentary crowd.
But when she's got a minute free
She likes to close her eyes
And leaning back, about untrammeled
Freedom fantasize.

But it's never more than a minute
Til someone calls her name
And once again she has to play
Pretend-I'm-happy games.
And then she stops and wonders
What her daughters' dreams will be
And she adds a bit to a hoarded stash
To set a young rover ... free.
Posted by dichroic at August 20, 2002 12:57 PM

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