Though it is a woman speaking
Soraya’s voice is “patriarchal.*” The Elders
with their wisdom choose for us.
Like all elders, they conserve the past.
Patterns must not change, or if they must
the rate of change held back.
The settled course of mortal death must keep its sway for now,
and for tomorrow,
and only after the day after the day after tomorrow
may it begin to loose.
Elders always hold back change, and
perhaps they are wise to do so.
Or perhaps they are simply old and conservative.
Perhaps, like all elites, they are self-serving.
I do not know.
As a “progressive” I hold opposite ideas at once:
No patriarchy should command my life
Yet we should respect the wisdom of the aged.
It may be moot: Oxadrenals project may fail
But against all odds, I see it succeed
And tragedy — the unavoidable choice between two rights — arise.** — Kate
*Properly, “matriarchal,” I know, but if there was a time that a matriarchy ruled the world, it was before written history. That they would have been as oppressive as any patriarchy should go without saying! But I have no historical memory of matriarchal oppression, only patriarchal, and therefore I use the word above, even though as “Observer” points out, it’s not quite right.