These women didn’t rescue voices
to watch you bow out
of this life and the next,
the weight of shame and scandal
sinking you to their knees
all bloodied and bruised.
These women didn’t raise hands,
two in subjugation
then balled fists in protest,
to read apologies
written in the faintest ink,
ghastly lit in camera flashes.
These women didn’t speak
then burn through
shattered rosy glasses,
to be painted over
as misshapen forms
smothered in misogyny.
These women didn’t march streets
paved by men
in debased gold,
to listen to your vitriol
and Viagra fuelled lies,
their bravery branded a weapon.
These women were born into shivering hands
of mothers and fathers,
to blaze so brightly
the pigment in your glassy eyes
will vanish, before you stamp her
into the ground.
Into the earth which bore her forth.
Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations…
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