I was going through old residency notes from my MFA and found this poem I wrote in January of 2015, and I actually don't write poems, but I like it. This moment is when I realized that I was, in fact, a feminist after all. A longer version of this story is included in my introduction to the anthology Andrea Fekete and I co-edited, Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibilty, but I enjoyed discovering the original incantation, though I had forgotten that I ever wrote it.
Take my seat, he said,
that twenty-something-year-old man-child
who never did anything with his body compared to mine.
Like I couldn’t stand for twenty minutes?
Did he not know this female body just bore life three months before and
still was sustaining it with no other nutrition?
This body – my body - grew a human being
fed held carried changed snuggled soothed an entire person.
I could stand for a few minutes.
These feet broadened in pregnancy, wider now and firmly planted on the good earth, the bad office carpet, no difference.
These hands pushed the stroller through the snow,
these hands cradled a tiny unfused skull and did not break or bruise it.
Chivalry. Who is the weaker sex I ask?
Tell me twenty something skinny ass single boy what has your body done?
Copyright © 2022 Lara Lillibridge
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