Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Im Yirtzeh Hashem by Me-Poem

I wish to thank Liba, for sending me this poem which was featured in this week's Yated Ne'eman, Reader's Write section.
I don't know who wrote this but I hope I have your permission to reprint, as it is too amazing to not...

"Im Yirtzeh Hashem by Me"
I am anxious to get married
I am waiting
for the day
when the sun will shine brightly
on me
and it will be
my turn.


I am
always on edge
in between
Not yet...
Waiting for that magic wand
That will make me whole.

I pray for marriage
Knowing that it is the answer
it is the only
The right
To all that is wrong
with me
Because being single
represents a problem
A deep-rooted deficiency
Within me

They tell me

Otherwise I wouldn't
still be
after so many years

I am waiting
Because I know
that marriage is the ultimate prize
The highest praise
The greatest confirmation
Of one's worth-

of all that I am not.

I am waiting for the day when I will finally have that magical ring on my finger
That will turn me from
the social sadness
that I am,
the tragedy,
A representation of the breakdown of society and its values
Into a person
and worthy.

I long for marriage
and the rights that come with it,
I am waiting
Knowing that when it comes
I will finally be seen as an adult
And be taken seriously
a person
From that day forward
My views will be considered
My interests respected
My existence validated.

I am waiting,

to no longer have to justify my life choices
to be able to make decisions
say yes or no
when I want
based on what is right for me
Because until then
Until I have a man behind me backing me up,
My voice is discountable,
background noise
A maybe-
It doesn't really count

I am waiting
to get married
longing for the day
When I will no longer have to face the pity
and pity-saturated questions
At every wedding
evening dinner
grocery store encounter
and telephone call
"Are you okay?"
"Who are you going with?"
"You were alone?"
"By yourself?"

I am waiting
for the day
when I will no longer have to nod
project shame
alleviate your worries
ease your fears

and then...
"It's okay"
"It will be okay"
"Next will be you"
"You are so special, I just don't understand what is wrong"

They tell me

I am waiting to get married so that
I will no longer be considered a child
The child you see me as now
one who could not possibly understand.

On that day
I will no longer be lumped together
With all the rest of the unworthy
Social derelicts
dragged along
included or excluded
A child
subject to the wills and wants of surrounding adults.


I am waiting for the day
When I will be married
And then my home
will be considered a "real home"
And not just an apartment,
a temporary holding
not worth investing in
caring for
or visiting.

I am waiting
For my space to remain my own
to no longer have to justify it
or give it up
and disperse it
To adults
To people
The married
Who deserve it more
Because space - both physical and emotional-
Is reserved only for them.

They tell me

I am waiting for the day
when my personal life will remain personal
And not be the open book,
the open topic of discussion that it is
Subject to comment and criticism
persistently chipping away at,
and annihilating
my own will,
deferring my existence,
its truth,
its light,
its validity,
its beauty,
to some far off day
when a man will finally be able to step in front of me,
validate me
make me

I am waiting
To get off stage
and stop performing
for others
So they get the picture of me they need
in the right boxes
With the right trimming.
I am waiting

Exit stage left,
Free at last

For only then
You tell me
can I start my life
And break free from the shackles that confine me.
Until then I am waiting
In limbo
Warned not to make any decisions
Or life plans
To wait
To keep my dreams on hold
my power in check,
my existence tamed
strategically displaced,
For one day my husband may want something else.
One day his desires may clash noisily with my own,
so better to wait,
turn out the lights,
get used to the darkness,
shutting myself off
shutting myself out of

Any day now...

To say what I believe
to act freely on my values
Use my power
create change
To live my life
in my way
through my knowledge,
loving curated from all of my days
deep self-knowledge,
to be who I am
and develop the person who I was meant to be
who I cannot be
you tell me

From judgment
Off stage
no critics.

I long
to be allowed to experience the joy
I live now
Without justification
or excuse
I am waiting for the day
when I don't have to convince you
that yes
I am in fact

I am waiting
For my life to be taken seriously
My experiences
And growth
To be seen
And respected
Not in relation to my marital status,
not in relation to another human,

I am waiting
To be seen
And to be allowed to see myself
for who I am
and not for what you think is missing.
I am part of a community that sees marriage as the be all and end all
the ultimate secure status
that solidifies one's worth within society.
Who I am as a person is irrelevant,
they say to me.
G-d's plan for me is meaningless,
they mean

I am constantly taught
That at the end of the day,
I am not a person.
I am not a woman.
I am not even a "single woman."
Who I am is: Not Yet Married.
And when they tell me, "Soon by you"
I must say full-heartedly, "Amen"
Because I know that when magic happens for me
In my universe
When my stars line up,
And I have repented for all my sins
and I have gotten the evil eye removed from my midst
and I have made peace on earth,
as perfect here as it is in heaven,
And repaired all of my deficient relationships
and I have asked forgiveness from all whom I am wronged
In this life and past lives,
When I have made peace with heaven
completed all of the rituals
and I have prayed
And swayed
And pleaded
Shacharis, Minchah, Maariv
every day
For forty days
All the songs
The pleas
And thank yous
This time by me -
Only after
I have given charity
and done all of the good deeds
From rabbi to rabbi
Help me
Fix what is wrong
Because if I was right
if my existence meant anything at all
I would be married already.
Only after
I have done all of these things
that you ask of me
Perfected myself
As only married people are
Only then will I be whole

So yes,
If I were to give in
Surrender myself
to you
Im yirtzeh Hashem by me
Because only then
Will you let me
be free
be me.

signed-Not Yet Married, An Individual

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully written.

    However, when someone purrs to me "IY'H by you," and they seem to get such joy from it, I know then it isn't about me. They want to feel a little better about their lives, and they don't care if they have to hurt someone to do it.

    It's not about me. Anyone who feels a need to make a comment, it is about THEM.