There is a Place

There Is a Place

 

There is a place, one very dearly bought,
Where women tasted freedom as men fought.
Work brought liberation from domesticity,
A female charge emerged, like electricity!
More than a million women forged the workforce,
Worked the trams, worked the mills, worked the horse.
Even that most sacred, hallowed place of all,
The field where men worshipped the God, football
Saw women in daring, new-fangled shorts
Take up the game. Whilst living men shot through the ports
To fight in Belgium, France, Gallipoli, then died
In the trenches, bled. Women still cried.
Canaries behind munitions factory gates
Filled shells, faced death at half men’s hourly rates.

Then came war’s end, opportunities lost,
The death-knell of soldiers not the only cost.
For some, their life went on a brand new tack.
For many the ticking clock simply turned back,
Domestic servitude became, once more, their lives,
While husbands, maimed, put more demands on wives.
The vote came in; it’s true, if you were thirty
A small enough result from war that’s dirty.

So has one hundred years changed women’s lot?
In many ways the answer comes “It’s not!”
Wages still differ; career choice is still hard,
Yet football’s not confined to the back yard!
So is there any gain that we can name?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

© Ray Stearn 14th August 2014

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