Channie Greenberg, The Wife/Mom
Publisher: Seashell Books
Date: July 5, 2019
Length: 153 pages
ISBN: 1076142524; 978-1076142528
It is not so effortless for women to integrate their roles. Whereas women are pushed to “accomplish,” they are simultaneously chided for embracing traditional female functions.
Women who have advanced degrees, 401Ks, or late model sports cars receive more positive feedback from men, and from women, who have taken on “men’s jobs,” than do gals who deign to define themselves by: how actively they engage in communication with their spouses, how mindfully they proceed through their pregnancies, and how well they nurture their sons, daughters, and, later, their grandchildren. Simply, as a society, we’ve made girls into boys, while dismissing any reverence we had for girls.
The Wife/Mom explores possible answers to this dilemma by addressing communal stances on both visible and hidden, gender-based strata. This assemblage of poetry puts front and center our culture’s need to return to cherishing women as “women” and to esteeming “womanly” goings-on, per se. In these poems, females might be intrepid visionaries laboring in complex math, might be maestros of major orchestras, or might be Olympic athletes, but they are beloved first and foremost for being women.
This book celebrates leaky breasts, postpartum vaginas, and the complexities of striving to not have a favorite child. Likewise, this work insists that we embrace the activities of women, not in lieu of the activities of men, but in addition to them. In these pages, electing to drink pickle juice is as important as being able to order 1947 Domaine Faiveley Musingy Grand Cru. Here, homespun rhetoric gets valued alongside of sophisticated, political maneuvering. In this collection, the assorted emotions indigenous to the finer gender get played out not as hysteria, but as probable, important responses to significant, human moments.
The Wife/Mom posits that we ought not to incarcerate ladies in insane asylums or to minimize their convergent media sound bites. Female views must count.
Whereas there’s nothing theoretically wrong with women venturing into space, growing up to be publishers, or running the kitchens of fine restaurants, there is much, which is matter-of-factly incorrect, with upbraiding women for choosing to spend some or all of their time taking care of their families. Hence, in The Wife/Mom, being a committed partner and being a mother receive all manner of long overdue applause.
While watering the herb garden, I interface,
By mistake, our dear kitty’s gotten locked in
Later, blanket thieves on tippy toes, discover
Hubby’s rock and roll music, toenail clippings,
Without having to understand mechanisms,
Mass graves won’t be dug at family
Like erstwhile friends, we won’t brook:
Woodlands won’t be playgrounds. No
Despite earlier celebrated mutual norms,
Having jumped across torn limbs, scouts
(Originally published in Mad Swirl. Dec. 2015)
Copyright © 2020 by Channie Greenberg