A dowager is not a matriarch,
no matter what you call yourself these days.
Subordinate to spouse, we heard your bark
but never feared you’d bite us, or amaze
us with authority, or guide us right.
We always knew, from him and you, the reins
were in our father’s hands, and not too tight
or twisted with impatience into chains.

He wasn’t perfect, though you’ve now forgot
the flaws he owned, the foibles he denied.
And though you see a part of me, you’re not
attentive to my power. Since he died
you’ve made a myth of him and force of you,
but I’m about remembering what’s true.

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