Narrative reinvention

Much has been written about heroes, especially men, in the wake of disaster. Societal expectations are such that this is the role expected of men. Not all men are heroes. Some women are. Research and feminist analysis of gender roles in response to Black Saturday has been conducted by Women’s Health Goulburn Valley North East. An e-book detailing the stories of 21 women (including me) can be found at http://issuu.com/womenshealthgoulburnnortheast/docs/beating_the_flames. The formal report ‘The landscape of my soul: Relationships after Black Saturday’ will be released soon.

Narrative reinvention

The way you tell it
we had an infallible plan
your foresight
arming us against catastrophe
and your efforts alone
prepared our home
against calamity

The way you tell it
your quick thinking
saved the day
you rescued us
and we escaped
ahead of the inferno
while you remained defiant

Unashamedly
you reinvent the narrative landscape
cast yourself in the starring role
paint me with passivity
render me invisible

Your truth is
the shrieking wind
hurled flames through the air
you fled, fought and survived
flesh seared
mind incinerated

You weave a fantastic tale
by which you hope to be judged
inside is just self-hatred
and in seeking to repair
your tattered psyche
brush me with your loathing

I understand, even forgive
but this is not the way I tell it

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