In this collection, we address the challenges that religion can bring for women. There is no specific religion mentioned within the two poems in this collection but both are written with the same feel of women being taught how to think, present themselves in order to gain the proper status to become someone who is desirable as a wife. In “Mother Said” this storyteller reflects back on all of the things that her mother told her from a young child until the present. In listening to the reflection, it is clear that the women are not seen as equals to their male counterparts. The poem gives strength to the mother in her beliefs as to what she will pass on to her daughter. Finally, the daughter starts to take off all of the things that have been holding her down and shielding her from the outside world and she stands in front of a mirror and looks at herself for the first time. In “Confinement” as the title implies we hear a young woman speak about what confinement is. With the use of other words that mean the same thing we hear her speak of things that can be confined finally ending with women. As the poem comes to an end she decides that she will break free from her own confinement and become the woman she is supposed to be. ***This collection does not address any specific religion.
Confinement of Religion: Mother Said, Confineme
My mother said
My mother told me
My mother shared information
My mother passionately expressed
My mother held the side of my face and made me listen as she said…
All of the things that I as a young woman needed to know.
The things that a good girls does
The way that I am to carry myself
If I am following the words of the book that we believe in
Living life according to
Making life choices based on
My mother said that a woman is not to be seen or heard
My mother said that a good woman follows in the footsteps of her husband
My mother said for me to be faithful to our beliefs and all else will fall into place
My mother said to keep my eyes down as a sign of respect.
…but I began to grow.