MY WORK MYSELF
I’ve retired from my profession not from life
And suddenly I have no value
Apparently I now lack authority;
Now that I’m not paid for my work,
Still I catch myself saying I’m a nurse
When asked what I do
Adding in afterthought -- and I’m a wife and mother.
Titles I’ve never been asked to prove,
My skills and talents not honed like stay-at-home
Wives and mothers; not paying my dues but
Rather delegating my responsibilities
To pseudo-mothers and lovers.
You can have it all, I was told.
Becoming more a human doing than a human being
My expertise dwindling as the neighbourhood healer
I am bereft
My wife and mother duties no longer needed or wanted;
I am bereft.
Marginalized, outsourced, part-timed, disregarded, under-equipped,
Overworked, burned-out, used-up, infected…
I am bereft of self.
I wrote this poem as an entry in to a poetry contest with the broad subject of any aspect of work. Since I am fairly newly retired, these thoughts emerged. I'll update when the contest is judged. I sure hope that posting on a blog doesn't constitute prior publishing. Any experts on this out there?