Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.
Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.
Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.
Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.
Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…
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Editor’s note: This poem kicks off a new “Question Worth Asking” series: “How weird will the future be?” First up: a piece from poet and TED Fellow Ben Burke.
[Dear Helen- So sorry. Didn’t have time to write that poem. But my future self sent me one yesterday. So we’re good. Crazy, right? It’s totally legit and actually from the future, so no need to double-check, you’re probably too busy anyway. Happy New Year! – Ben Burke]
THE TRANSHUMANIST’S LAMENT
TOO MANY RIVERS, NOT ENOUGH LAKES
OH, FUTURE — YOU SO CRAZY
I arrived in the basket that was weaved here before me
And I stayed in any place with a roof that would store me
I have lots of belongings
But didn’t pack for the trip
I got here, they put pants on me
And then the world gave me the slip
I’ve lived as slowly as…
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$17 – nelly.com