Year of the feminist uprising

embodiment of female power
warrior princess
fighting coolly like a girl
to save the planet
in bad-ass boots
one brave woman can start a revolution

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being stuck in my head

being stuck in my head
—breathe―
do the opposite
run like a girl
for this is real
if I am alive—safe
then I’ll be fine
running toward my happy ending
self-control before the mirror
―breathe—I am fine
it will all be fine
everyone watching―my humiliation
—too many eyes
see me falling apart
in one heartbeat a dream
becomes a nightmare

Girl power

Imagine you are a twelve-year old girl and one day your body changes. People say girls are developing younger and younger. I blame the chemicals in our food. I mean, what else would suddenly make boys look at you strangely? And it’s not just boys, if you know what I mean! It’s as if I suddenly became scary. Shifting shape continually. Not quite one thing or another. None of my friends had developed their powers yet. Only me. But nobody would talk to me about it. Like, there are some words we can’t even use in public, not even on Instagram. Instead they use words like ‘hysterical’, ‘unstable’, and ‘attention seeker’. Sometimes I just want to go out in public and shout ‘TAMPON!’

Somewhere in the world

I run so fast
cold air bites my cheeks
somewhere in the world
my heart vibrates
when I stop running
somewhere in the world
I stand in silence
waiting for the seconds
that keep racing ahead
somewhere in the world
there is no violence
but I’m nearly out of time

Women’s magazines

greengrocers – early afternoon
blue canvas awning heat
keen to get home from gossip
long daily excursion pointless
there must be more to life
meetings, Friday tennis, empty house
just her and the baby
on a merry-go-round

The way of the witch

no more history after blood
no rivals, for it’s who you are
kitchen witch feels and hears
teenage girls wanting to fit in
become disconnected from their bodies
dreams and spells written simply
hidden inside another story
the way of the witch

The more things change

Gossip mongers fear
the fairy rath,
where December slows,
women sing at the bail,
warm palms against skin,
cheeks against bovine flanks,
milk sparse in the churn;

gibbous moon rings
fire lit faces,
bare feet scuff cobbles;
superstitious silence
drives poor women
from their homes,
for aren’t they to blame?

History

Under what conditions women lived
Beaten, locked up, flung about
Servant to her lord and master
Idolised in poetry, prose
Desired and despised in flesh
Absent from history
Enslaved by a ring on her finger.

My little basket
Eyes on the ground
Ring twirled around a finger
Not uttering a sound
Until he grabbed my wrist
Seizing my arm, my shoulder
Through the flimsy summer dress
The heat of his body
Wild and thrilling breaths
Before the ring was on the ground
Thrown at his feet
By bruises black against soft skin.

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