Poet's Notebook: Bearing children isn’t the only way to give life

'Roe as Egg'

click to enlarge I wrote this poem “Roe as Egg” after the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. Each time I saw the word “roe”, I was reminded of fish eggs so I explored that imagery as metaphor. - Photo tororo reaction/Adobe
Photo tororo reaction/Adobe
I wrote this poem “Roe as Egg” after the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. Each time I saw the word “roe”, I was reminded of fish eggs so I explored that imagery as metaphor.
I wrote this poem “Roe as Egg” after the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. Each time I saw the word “roe”, I was reminded of fish eggs so I explored that imagery as metaphor. As I worked on this poem, I also felt drawn to write from what I see as a masculine voice. It's interesting because in most of my poems outside of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, I speak directly as myself and about my experiences through narrative. But here in CL, for some reason, I’m drawn to using metaphors and inhabiting another’s voice (i.e. lobsters, video game characters, ect.). It might be because I usually approach this CL space by thinking about a topic first, then writing a poem about it, whereas in my other work, I write poems without thinking about the topics they might contain. I’m now seeing this duality in approach as what’s also necessary in bridging understanding in relationships on both a personal and societal level.

This whole journey, I’m discovering, has been stacked deep with a set of metaphors. The ultimate depth, if there is one, is what we strike when we’ve hit bedrock like the river bottom. It’s here where we find the fossils of those who once swam close to the surface. Sometimes even jumping out, flexing their bodies to power their way forward. Their only motivation is to leave behind the next generation.

This is where perhaps metaphor ends and reality sets in to say that not all sacred creation is born of a male and female physically engaging in sex to bring about life. Sometimes it’s art, a building, a garden, a curriculum. There are ways in which a woman can contribute to this world beyond her body being used as a vessel to bear children. And if and when she does, it should completely be her choice.

There’s a maleness that constantly looms over the female presence, asserting its dominance and control. This has been both cause and effect of many religions, particularly used to oppress the gender not placed at the center of the narrative, as the hero. It’s a matter of time we catch up to the mass revision that we have been engaged in. Revision as in to “see again”. To have another vision, a new perspective.

Our blatant disregard and editing out of women’s actual role within humanity’s narrative is largely responsible for the misogyny that takes place all over this planet. It’s this imbalance based on a lie, an illusion stemming from delusion that life is only created through the male side. This idea, this concept, has resulted in a widespread conception that continually strives to take away women’s power. The good news is that the aggression with which this is happening is an indication that our own strength has multiplied.

Roe as Egg

Here it is, roe,
I want to roll
on my tongue
just so I can feel
that burst–

this is what I came here for,
what I crave each time
I break through shells
and before I bust through mine–

isn’t this what it means
to break through
our lesser selves–
by holding the part of us
that was made
to mess things up,
to destroy this little planet

About The Author

Yuki Jackson

Yuki Jackson is an African-American and Japanese poet and educator based in Tampa Bay, Florida.Her work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Foundry, Entropy and other publications. She is also the founder of The Battleground, a youth program in the Sulphur Springs...
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