You entered ‘normal school’ at Crescent Heights
as if your education to this point had been
abnormal, and maybe it was—you couldn’t know
the future so you believed your prospects were
limited to what your husband could provide…
You balanced plates on your head like the women
in Canadian Home Journal, minded your posture and
ate every morsel on your plate, all while writing poetry
to your father each morning, then eagerly awaiting
his evening response. So many photos in later years, snapped
while you walked the eighth avenue mall. All, black and
white, as though your life was colourless. And you bought
each one; you could afford vanity now, while your sister
carved a different path. She typed one hundred words per
minute on a manual typewriter, entering the work force
as a girl Friday and wearing pants; living just as many years.
Did you know your dreams? Were they stifled—did they twist
knots into your body that never unsnagged—that plagued
you through the years? At least you both had the right to vote,
with Nellie McClung just up the highway.
And after recent events in a future YOU never got to see,
one has to wonder how far back the pendulum will swing…
4 thoughts on “Prompt Four”
My aunt Mary Vee was also an amazing typist. She entered the workforce and had a family and I don’t think she was happy, but maybe for some of it.
I think of how tough it must have been for women back then and now it feels like we might be losing ground again. It is a tricky and sometimes slippery slope. But I do admire their courage to take new steps and help forge the options we have today! My Great-Aunt actually lived to 104!
The visuals in this work are amazing. Speaking of areas I know now, in a time that I did not. I found it enlightening that I can relate to both sides of what you wrote. I have lived them both. Thank you so much for sharing this!
You are welcome, Deanna! I’m glad you could ‘see’ the scene and relate to it. I guess with the Stampede just around the corner, the Eighth Avenue Mall will be pretty busy…