firstly, they looked me in the eyes,

but gaze fell as my leg would rise.

i cannot be wide apart, owning space, or

worship another, be of different race.

with pride they peeled the innocence

from me, burning

my skin with brutal integrity.


and your mouth! they said,

you cannot expel fire,

or need or want or lust or desire.

sit still, calm down, prized

queen of drama – your role

is sister, wife and mother.


so i took my seat, stained subsidiary,

beautiful wisdom veiled Mary.

piercing fine needles one by one:

their sex, the childbirth, want of son.


mentality grew to detest all touch,

but as my window of worth creaked

solemnly shut,

wrinkled skin and breast so mean

enclosed a heart still bright.

still keen.


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