I originally posted this poem as a comment to The System, but then I thought it merits a post of its own. It mirrors my story and how I reflected on it after reading HF’s rant and call for action.
It starts by telling how I resent being born into the caste I did. It makes the simile to a captured tiger whose feelings progress form rage to self-pity and finally to ultimate gloom.
Next, I tell how I was confined to a prison within a prison. I bemoan my arranged and early marriage and that I wasn’t given the opportunity to conduct an earnest search for my soul mate. I make the simile to a parrot envious of humans who find meaning in what they talk and don’t just mimic. Similarly, I’m sad that our union is merely staged and lacking a passionate bond.
Finally, I express my belief that I’m too entrenched to change. I’ll probably remain where I don’t belong for the rest of my life. But I want my children to be happy, so I will not indoctrinate them with any dogma or deny them freedom of exploration. If they will decide to remain Hassidic, then so be it. If they decide to leave, I’ll support them. However, I’ll have to feign being heartbroken by their rebellion. I make the simile to a salve too old for escape, but who will gladly buy his children a ticket to the Underground Railroad.
I’m trapped like a tiger in cage
Filled with rage
With pity, with gloom
Who confined me here
From the moment I walked earth
From the moment of birth
From the moment conceived in womb
Why to this family appear
I’m trapped like a parrot in pen
I stare at all the men
Who chose themselves a mate
Why my basic right
Why haven’t I fled
But listened to them instead
You’re nineteen, you’re late
Why have I accepted without fight
I’m trapped like an old slave
I’ll not leave but for my grave
I want a better life for you, child
Be different, be smart
One day in years, years ahead
Gossipers will whisper you’ve fled
You listened to the call of the wild
I’ll mourn after you with a heart
Full of joy
The Pesach Story
2 weeks ago