I weep as a mother not only for the future of my children,
but for all the mothers who will have no future with their children.
I cry as a woman not only for how I am viewed as a person,
but for the women who have no view of themselves as people.
I whimper as a being not only for how inconsequential my voice can be,
but for the beings who have no voice to be inconsequential.
I sob as a child not only for how I feel today,
but for the children who have no today to feel.
I weep until my tears are gone and then my words begin.
Vanessa Birley has had her writing published in print and online, including “Mothering” magazine, “National Poetry Anthology,” an article for eHarmony, and a short story in the Guardian’s “Soul Mates.”