Staying and Leaving: Catholic Woman’s Version

I have left
And returned
And left again

I have shut the door
And then opened it

I have locked the door
And then unlocked it

I have wept
I have screamed
I have cursed

I have prayed

I have been lauded
For my feminine genius
I have been criticized
For my machismo feminism

I have been told no

But mostly
I have been ignored
I have been silenced
I have been patronized

I stood at their door
And knocked
To no avail

So I walked away
To other doors
Wide open, warm, welcoming

I have left
Except for my heart
Except for my longing
Except for my dreams
Except for my sisters

For those
Always
I have stayed.

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