A SURVEY OF THE FEMALE EXPERIENCE

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

You:
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

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

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

You:
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

You:

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 fourth novel, Maggie’s Ruse, will be published in October 2019 by Unsolicited Press. She has had short fiction recently published in New Pop Lit, The Slag Review, and O:JA&L. Recent poems have appeared in Mocking Heart Review, Crow Literary Review, S/tick, and Wilde Boy. She lives among the evergreen trees in the South Sound region of Washington State.

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