A Woman’s Place

Nothing but gossip and washing up
the intellect of a used teacup.
No opinions, ideas, or views.
The kitchen is the place I choose.
The brainy talk has begun
those are subjects I will shun.
That cultural stuff is not for me
I will make a cup of tea.
I heard someone mention Freud.
That’s a topic I must avoid.
I think they are being dirty and rude.
I hear them say that I will—elude!
They are talking about original sin
I go to church weekly—I can’t join in.

A life lived in complete denial.
Do not put my thoughts on trial.
I don’t know or investigate.
I just arrange scones on a plate.
I am curious about petty things,
so don’t ask what I’m thinking.
No questions, no answers, no interest,
if I accept everything—I’ve done my best.
What is all this—enlightenment?
Do they mean—entertainment?

This is my own grasp of life
my identity is—somebody’s wife.
Ignorance has no need to know
and foolishness has a giant ego.
I do not want to bother you
I’d prefer invisibility too.
I will go and shop for food today
and smile vacantly on the way.

“I heard that you lived through World War II
How did that experience affect you?”
My mind goes numb, my throat goes tight.
“Well—I didn’t have to fight.
I don’t know really”—I excuse myself—
and take the crockery off the shelf.
I have seen generations come and go.
I just went along with the show.
If they ask me to join the discussion
I will leave quickly and fetch my apron.
Instead of talking about history,
I lick my fingers and make the tea.
While their brains are so occupied,
I pull apart cakes that were supplied.
I phone my friend just down the road
to tell her about another cook’s food.
And when I wheel the trolley in,
I hide my folly with a grin.
When their opinions excite and shout,
back to the kitchen—I hurry out.
I dare not return to the room
to retrieve the cups and spoons.
But I retreat so hastily
that someone brings them out to me.
I am so anxious—what will she think?
I plunge my hands into the sink.

“Would you like some help in the kitchen?”
“No, I will do this—you go and listen.”
“The conversation is lots of fun
and we have only just begun.
Do you not have any attitude?”
“No, I don’t. Just making food.”
“But we are all having an interesting talk.”
“No, leave me out—just hand me that fork.”

She wipes the sweat from her cheeks,
missing nothing—not wanting to speak.
No contribution will she make
except for baking a layer cake.
Too bad that she doesn’t realize
that the mind has layers which also rise.
No general knowledge does she require
a simple life and routine—to inspire.
No conversation within her home,
just mindless chat—on the telephone.
Faced with ideas—she will circumvent.
Less than nothing—is her content.
To evaluate, I have to say this.
With some people—ignorance is bliss!