14: International Women’s Day 2018

The Women Around Me

by Dominique Mitchell

My mum worked all hours;

I’d listen to the typewriter click clack in the night.

She finished her dissertation at the desk in my room,

in the soft lamp light.

In the long summer breaks, my grandmothers took me in.

With my mum’s mum I’d watch horror films,

(Pet Cemetery the worst.)

My dad’s mum would sing to Tom Jones in the kitchen,

whilst cooking up her famous Spanish chicken.

They both had endless ears to listen.

And for that I could write a separate ode.

Girlfriends from school, girlfriends from home, girlfriends from uni.

With whom I’ve walked the line

between trouble and mischief.

With whom I’ve stumbled the line

between one drink and four.

With whom I still skip the line.

My younger sisters, who I adore.

I hope I can pass on some things I’ve learnt.

Take you to places you’ve never seen,

give you books to turn your world upside down,

whisper encouragements

and watch you achieve your dreams.

To the women in my life,

upon whose shoulders I’ve stood

to reach this higher ground –

I hope to take a knee

and help any women I see around.

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