Poetry: Emotional Labour

It’s her job to remember everything,

(Lunches, birthdays of distant aunts, school plays, 
Where you put the wrapping paper left over from last year.)

And in remembering everything,

(cut off the crusts, the tenth of November, Wednesday night 7.30pm sharp don’t forget to fashion an elaborate costume from a cereal box)

She forgets
all the things she used to remember

before she had to remember where you put the wrapping paper
left over from last year.

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4 comments

  1. Keep up with the excellent poetry – I envisage a slim volume with a very stylish cover; a window display in a bookshop we both know….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could do a reading – there would be 5 people and a couple of strays who’d wandered in off the street with their cans

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Octavia Water · · Reply

    I already feel this way and I haven’t even given birth yet. I am continuously coming up with ways to challenge my boyfriend on how much he relies on me to handle the remembering of tasks and provide the motivation to get essential things done. It has included many arguments between us but also a demand on me to frame the issue in ways he can understand and not dismiss as just bitching or being petty. It is hard work, but it is THE work. Cause I have self-care as a high priority and when doing things for family gets in the way of me taking care of myself, knowing how much I carry, I know that I must find ways to challenge them on how they’ve dropped the ball, expecting me to pick it up, of catch it before it even touches the floor, and I find ways to directly or indirectly demand acknowledgement of my contribution and respect for my refusal to burn the candle at both ends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, the emotional labour. It is exhausting, and undervalued. Always having to be the one to remember and plan. Self care is so important, learning to prioritise it is tricky though.

      Like

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