‘Silently, The Women Waited’ by Angela Carr

The clocks ticked down, the men debated
the Proclamation and celebrated
while, silently, the women waited

a hundred years to be placated,
a body, sovereign, emancipated –
the clocks ticked on, the men debated –

and by the roadside Virgin, consecrated,
and on ferry crossings, expediated,
silently the women waited

in convent laundries, incarcerated,
their ‘fatherless’ children emigrated –
the clocks ticked on and men debated

a beach and the infant excavated,
a corpse and the fetus incubated,
still, silently the women waited,

mental acuity checked and rated,
septicemia equivocated:
the clocks ticked on, the men debated
and, silently, the women waited.

This poem was read at an International Women’s Day event on March 11, 2017 at the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin .

Angela Carr is a poet living and writing in Dublin, Ireland. Twitter @adreamingskin