A Woman’s Voice

Hey Readers On day 17 of NaPoWriMo my poem covers the topic of voting and why it matters especially for women. The topic was inspired by fellow blogger Hannah Rose Williams who asked me to find a post which explained why voting matters Realising I had written many posts but never one which specifically examined this issue I decided to tackle it in poetic style. I have given it the title  A Woman’s Voice I hope you enjoy the read.

A Woman’s Voice

An X on a ballot marks your engagement
with democratic participation
your right to make a choice
to shape the destiny of your nation
make a decision on who you want to govern us
and more importantly why
don’t believe the lie that voting doesn’t matter
or the media spin that all politicians are the same
and you can change nothing
you can  you have and you will
the suffragettes won the vote for women and girls
when politics was viewed as a private members club
reserved for men of wealth
where women’s issues were never discussed
let alone debated
our foremothers chained themselves to railings
to gain a stake in society
so forgive me if I say
I will not go quietly in to the night
I will exercise my right to vote
to give women a voice
let our leaders know the choices
I make
and why I reached my decisions
on the issues that matter to me
you see, I put leaflets through letter boxes
for my preferred candidate
in the Scottish election
and power walking does wonders
to shed the winter pounds
the political ground is ours to claim
and by ours I mean yours and mine
as women of all shades and opinions
speak our truths  on housing, crime and poverty
where there is injustice or inequality
you will see me with banners or placards in hand
at city centre demonstrations
this is part of my every day reality.
usually though not always on Saturday’s
as I campaign for changes
which will make our country a safer place to live
for my friends to bring up children
and for me to walk the streets in safety
the progress we have made did not happen overnight
concessions are not won without a fight
think of the rights that women have gained
we would never have got them
if we hadn’t complained
about topics we believed were important
from abortion to the tampon tax
we’ve kept a cool head whilst stating the facts
from Mary Barbour to Rosa Parkes
our foremothers have played a part
in shaping a better society
on equal marriage and human trafficking
it was women’s voices which spoke with compassion
just as it was at the birth of civic nationalism
when Winnie and Margo showed Scotland
our women deserved respect
in the face of macho Labour hostility
now times have moved on
and women of stature lead
my country’s three main parties
with others in positions of prominence
in Scotland, Britain, and the world
this is why I say to women and girls
get involved in politics
claim democracy as yours
and remember nothing is solved from the sidelines
don’t look for someone to blame
or believe that we’re all the same
don’t fall for the lies
no matter if you’re
from the shires or the scheme
dare to dream that you could be the one
to shatter the glass ceiling
then on polling day
and let your voice be heard.

@ Gayle Smith 2016


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