Protest! - Poetry by Linda M. Crate

First submission for our new theme Protest!: Poetry by Linda M. Crate. Take a read below!

~~

human beings not property

i protest

all these chains and ribbons

every gilded cage

be damned

women are not your property

nor do we owe you

a thing for our

existence,

and i am tired of everyone acting

otherwise;

i am tired of men who will never

know what it is to be pregnant

making decisions

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

wanted,

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

raven ready

for war;

 

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

property

we're not going to stop fighting

 

until women are seen

as people

i am not going to be talked over

 

forever

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.

 ~~

"good men"

i protest

hearing you're

a good man

 

they don't know

you tried to

rape me

 

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

didn't matter—

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

crushed because

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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