Step into the witches coven
Sip upon the mothers’ brew
Wait for unsolicited advice given
See who needs to feel superior to whom.
Feel the subtle competition
Watch the envy rise
No genuine kindness to the other
Only charitable lies.
Observe these women as they sit side by side
Sending text messages about one to the other so that the truth might hide
Sitting mere feet from those about whom they were writing with such malice ill
Whilst lifting their heads from their phones to smile at each other with false goodwill.
It’s unnerving to see grown women behave in such a way
Unable to speak directly to each other and say what they mean, and mean what they say
If people lack moral courage, no wonder the state of the world is in such disarray.
I was in the wrong place for the right reason
So that my child might have socialization
It seemed an ideal set-up at first, a wonderful service to the community
While the children play, the women sit and chat under a tree
But from that first day, I heard Shakespeare whisper in my ear, “To be, or not to be?”
There was very little social, political, intellectual, or feminist stimulation
Yet a great deal of emotional capitulation and unabashed mastication.
There were moments when the connection seemed so real
When the laughter and the tears of motherhood were given space and time to feel and heal
But then the moment passes and the lack of integrity does arise
Their constant need to be in guarded, self-defense mode becomes the battle cry.
There is no place for authenticity in a lake of desperate attack
A smile to the face but sweet scorn behind one’s back
The complicit play the pivotal role in every. single. act.
Anxious eyes shifting from one to the other in the circle as they sit
To see if the one spoken against knows what has been going on and will continue to submit
Shallow vapors void of content lay thick like smog from which all choke
Some wait with nervousness and others excitement to see if conflict will arise from the smack talk with which they spoke
Telepathic eyes plead, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”
I speak directly, “Newsflash: This isn’t Rome, this is a Stepford zoo!”
No courage to speak against the hive
The cowards stay silent to say alive
If dead women tell no tales
Why make life a living Hell?
They cower silent screams
Into every mirror
From the loneliness,
And the unrelenting fear.
Loyalty is bought through an investment in time
And sells out on mad day without penitence or crime.
They Include all,
Then exclude one
Repeat the pattern until one is shunned
Reinforce solidarity of the clan
By pitting one against the other: triangulation, that’s their jam.
They drive out those who do not comply
With a covert, narcissistic founder in disguise
Black and white the only color scheme of thought
No room for nuance in the package that they bought
Ignorance is bliss when all it takes to feel content is to be thin
Masters of deflection and projection with all the BS they can spin.
Long on defenses, short on boundaries
Message sent and message received
The politics of play dates
The 15-minute increments of scheduled time
Never dreamed such pettiness would be my fate
Or that too much caring could be a crime.
Instead of 12 angry men,
It’s a dozen tired women
So certain are some in the judgment pool they soak
That they keep curiosity gagged and bound behind a heavy cloak
Why is it such a threat to see mothers who parent differently than they?
Is there not room in the vastness of this universe for everyone to plow their own way?
Why is sameness good and otherness bad; can we not be free?
Can you take that which is different and make it something curious,
Instead of something which brings fury?
Like chickens in a cluster pecking seeds across the ground
They talk over one another, for no voice but their own should make a sound
No time for questions when they have opinions they must assert
Their self-importance can’t be bothered with the patience to stop the hurt.
Oh how they Pick-a-little (Talk-a-Little), these River City Ladies
Reaching the pinnacle of their dreams by becoming married Sadies
Only to lay in a puppy heap, of codependent dysfunction, frozen in Hades
I stayed six months, did my best to be a salve
It was six months longer than I should have
Namaste Felicia! It’s the end of the line for me
Let me off this mama, drama, trauma train, for the wreck is a-coming, I do see.
What if your purpose in life is not to play along
but to show a deeper song
Can we give up the talk about diets and weight,
The comparing what we ate
The talk about money, labels, and status quo,
The need for self-importance,
The belief in the shallow, superficial, and ability to control?
Can we sit with each other in a state of charitable grace
Can we find the courage to be truthful to each other’s face?
Let’s put aside the humble bragging,
The passive-aggressive nagging,
Our caffeine driven dragging
Of talk of breasts that are sagging.
Can we elevate the crew
To connect in ways anew?
Can we raise each other higher
With simple presence through the mire?
Can we stop the two-faced gossip and the subtle arts of shame?
Can we move away from targets, begin to name instead of blame?
I believe in the power to evolve the tribe
I know that with intention we can change this tired vibe
We can create a space of inclusivity based on unconditional love, trust and all that’s good
We can lay down our defenses in a garden of the heart of sisterhood.
Or perhaps not…
We can hold a mirror up in their direction
But energy vampires can’t see their own reflections
Constant chaos is the fuel that drives
Their pallid, vapid, vacuous, gossip propelled lives
In each episode of the Hunger Games for Bored Housewives.
Sage Justice is a mother and a freelance writer who rocks a Menopause Mohawk. She’s written for The Mighty, Kveller, Life Learning Magazine, and Mothers Always Write. More on her blog Www.Sage-Living.org and rare appearances on social media via twitter @Sage_Justice1