The rib never fit
And the apple had worms
Fig leaves are for fools shaming the
Triangle of life

Caves sheltered as long as you brought
Down your share, felled by points you
Chiseled by the hour, in between
Sewing skins and putting the baby
To your breast—
Migrations, snow, death
Seeds sown, crops harvested

Learn to read, get the vote, work on the floor
With a glass ceiling
Are told you are unreliable, emotional, a false accuser
When your boss grabs your ass

Want to go on the pill, and your doctor
Looks at your ringless left hand, then says no—

Get an abortion to free yourself of a burden you
Cannot carry, given you by a man who
Lied, stole, cheated

Live in a country where the ruling party
Wants to own your womb
It’s their right, they say, because
They know so much better than


Will never:
Go back
Accept cruelty as fate
Apologize for the drive of your sex
Close your eyes
To their blindness




Photo Credit: Taymaz Valley Flickr via Compfight cc

Anne Leigh Parrish

Anne Leigh Parrish's fifth novel, A Winter Night, will be published in April 2021 by Unsolicited Press. Previous titles are: Maggie’s Ruse, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2019); The Amendment, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2018); Women Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By the Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel, (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories, (Press 53, 2011). She lives among the evergreen trees in the South Sound region of Washington State.

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