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I Once Read | By Alexandria Wolfe

I once read that a woman worthy should be small, delicate, peaceful,

I once read that a woman should be meek, mild, weak,

I once read that we must be opinionated, but quiet,

We must be strong, but submissive,

But how can we achieve all of these things and still have civilizations built upon our spines,

And how do we create homes of the steel that become of our ribcages, when we are not supposed to be capable,

When we are supposed to wilt,

Before we are born, before we are our glimmer, our casts, our casings are already set,

And we must be slight, baby-doll eyes, with the ability to make mama’s home-made apple pie,

But what if you don’t fit small, double-zero, stay at home, supper ready by 6, hair pinned, kids clean, kiss for your man as he walks through the door,

What if you don’t fit, slight, dependent, quiet, and unheard,

What if you don’t fit,

What if you don’t fit…

Some call it the glass ceiling,

I call it the American Dream,

One I never had because I’ve always been large, thirteen to sixteen, outside, supper ready whenever, job of my own, independent, dogs fed, wine poured, happy with myself- dream.

But let me tell you this,

I once read about a woman who said, “No,” and she changed the world,

I once read about a woman who went through hell from a “sieg heil!” and still believed everyone was good at heart,

I once read about a woman born on the same day, born with the same name, as you, as me, as every other woman out there,

And how she too has the ability to alter history books with words, and believed in the best in herself, and everyone else,

So forget the glass coffins of societal expectations,

Forget the diets and how this season pinstripes are in,

Forget those edges, they have no relation to you,

And open your book, run your fingers over your existence,

Understand that your words are history and you are forever your own author.

Banner illustration courtesy of Wanderer Online illustrator Serena Tang

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  • Srosh Hassan

    Beautiful.