This prompt has got me writing outside my comfort zone a little. When I started thinking about ‘Choice’ I was immediately struck by the contrast between all the choices most of us have to make and the powerlessness of those who are denied the chance to make choices for themselves. I have been touched by the stories of the girls exploited by gangs of men in Oxford and Rotherham; I have always been moved by stories of young women forced into arranged marriages or forced to conform to rules set by others that were not their own choices. These are the things that were in my mind when I wrote this piece; I know it is a bit rough around the edges but I think it is meant to be like that.
Choose what you want for breakfast,
Choose what you want for tea,
Choose what to wear this morning,
Choose who you want to be.
Life is full of choices,
We make one every day.
A normal part of living,
We expect to have our say.
She had no choice in her husband,
They chose for her when she was a girl.
She had no choice who to love and cherish,
She was gifted as if she were a pearl.
He chose to beat her and hurt her,
He chose to humiliate her and degrade her.
She was his property and had no choice
But to bear it and submit to his anger.
She had no choice to be ignored,
She had no choice to be neglected,
Her life was disorder and chaos,
All her choices were rejected.
She had poor choice in friends,
She had poor choice in who to trust,
She was exploited and abused
By men who used her for their own lust.
Twelve members of a jury
Will choose whether to believe
Her evidence of what went on
Or was it all make-believe?
Some choices are easy to make,
Others a trial and a struggle.
Some choices make us stronger
While others will make us fragile.
So as we make our choices as women
Let’s remember those without any.
Support our sisters and brothers
And use all our choices wisely.