Poem: Perpetua to Felicity
No more dutiful matron and deferential slave,
keeping their places, obeying the aged father,
the absent husband. No more gods who ordain
that things shall go on forever as they always have,
parent and child, husband and wife, mistress and slave,
one higher, one lower, orders given and orders
accepted, until death in childbirth or of boredom
and a shadowy afterlife of nothing but memories.
No more pretending that family can’t be chosen,
that love doesn’t encompass all, that hierarchy
is holy, that nothing in this world can be changed.
The dream is real. Better to go forth into the arena
hand in hand, arm in arm, better to die with one’s
true family than to live with strangers. Our Shepherd
is waiting, Felicity: Let us cross over the river together.