First submission for our new theme Protest!: Poetry by Linda M. Crate. Take a read below!
human beings not property
all these chains and ribbons
every gilded cage
women are not your property
nor do we owe you
a thing for our
and i am tired of everyone acting
i am tired of men who will never
know what it is to be pregnant
over our bodies instead of allowing us
to make choices in our own lives—
never will they know
the mother that is wrestling
with the choice of saving her life
or having the child she always
or the girl who was raped and cannot
endure the idea of having the child that was
forced upon her body,
nor the woman who needs birth control
simply to regulate her body so
her body doesn't feel as if it is killing her
in a flow of pain and blood
they'll never have to endure;
we are not who we are because of our relationships
to the men in our lives
we are someone independently
it's more than high time we're treated like
human beings instead of property.
bones and marrow
they want profits, i only want to live; i want to achieve my dreams and help the other dreamers off their knees because the nightmares we endure are so useless and meaningless—all the obstacles we've been jumping over aren't necessary, but no one cares about you when you are poor; it's always held against you like a character flaw—it's no crime to be rich, though, to be greedy; to extort your neighbor and kill your friend and that makes no sense to me—i don't want to live in a world so ugly and so evil, i was born to smash the masks of these false prophets; i refuse to accept them and their crimes against humanity—there is no greater good, one person suffering is unacceptable; i am tired of people thinking it's okay should one person suffer for the rest of us—who are you to demand a sacrificial lamb or hero? who are you to decide your life matters more? i respect no one who thinks they're superior to anyone else, we all matter, we all bleed the same, we all have hopes and dreams, and we all want to live; and damn anyone who would take the lives from our bones and marrow before our time.
more than money
you're no better than those you attempt to strip the humanity from, you are no better than the disabled and injured; you are no better than the lgbtq community you so despise, your religion makes you superior to none, and your path isn't the only path to walk; i am so tired of children in cages and immigrants being treated like animals when people wouldn't even treat their pets in such an evil way—you cannot tell me that you are for humanity when you are so cruel to other human beings, and i am so exhausted of the ugliness people spew at one another; we have the ability to lift one another up with our deeds and our words—so why are these wounded hearts being ignored and swept under the rug? why is puerto rico still struggling? why are their deaths not being taken seriously? i protest all the ugliness in this world, i protest the apathy of mankind, i protest cruelty of any kind; i will shatter these nightmares and monsters until only light can pour through and everyone can know the mark of kindness upon their souls—because so many people struggle and suffer in silence, so many people die without being remembered, we have no right to forget them; i refuse to let them go, i refuse to let them be numbers instead of faces and names and hearts—if anyone must be caged then let it be the evil men who would put a price on a human life because we are all worth much more than any sum of money could give us.
we're not insects
you cannot stop me
i will rise
no matter what
i am not
a mild, timid creature
locked in a cage
i am a wild, fierce
not the type of woman
who you can put upon a pedestal
or house in a normal life—
you cannot stop me
with all your lies, all your delusions
you won't contain me;
not a piece of meat or your
we're not going to stop fighting
until women are seen
i am not going to be talked over
because an opinion of a man
is not worth more than that of a woman—
not going to go away
just because you're tired of hearing our voices,
don't you think we're exhausted
fighting for our lives?
you would sweep us underneath the rug,
but we're not insects you'll crush.
a good man
they don't know
you tried to
when i was a girl
because i blamed myself
sometimes i still do,
but i know
it wasn't my fault;
told you no
yet somehow my voice
is that because women
don't matter to you?
pick that up from a movie
or tv show or book?
i am more than my sexuality,
and my body;
i have a heart, soul, and dreams
my dreams won't be
of good men.
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.
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