Wake Up

If you give her 3, you give him 4.

Until old age makes you needy and then

she will get more.

More but never equal to him,

you measure in small increments

depending upon the ease she brings.

You’re the mother-in-law who couldn’t let go

who spoon-fed your son ‘cos you wanted control.

You were the daughter-in-law who kept her mouth shut

when they pushed you so low that you couldn’t get up.

But now things have changed and there’s hope ahead

‘cos your daughter-in-law was raised with dreams and won’t be lead.

She won’t accept those small casual slights

she’ll do for you, but with distance.

If you want her close, you’ll have to treat her right.

She’ll do what is wrong in your sad book of rules

because her heart hates this system and she won’t be a fool.

She won’t let you treat her like she’s less than your son

so wake up older woman, a new time is come.


A story of change based on observing some young women break the cycle of behaviour that pushes them down. Women who know how to teach others that all people are deserving of equal treatment.

Young women who help the older woman who was a victim when she was a daughter-in-law, and stop the unconscious behaviour that makes her victimize the next generation of women.

To the wonderful women who treat all equally within the family. This is not your story, but it is the story of enough women in India. A story that needs to be told.

Published by Anitaelise

Piano Teacher, Poet, Relaxed Housekeeper & Blogger

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