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Sunday, July 31, 2016


by Marsha Owens

Image source: Redbubble

I stood in the school lunch line, the boy behind
me snapped the bra buckled across my back,
an awkward restraint on my vanishing childhood.
My face flushed crimson, my shame hot without words
to fling into the high-pitched laughter of pimply boys.

I remember quiet talks about bleeding from wherever
so a girl could do what only a girl could do—give birth,
bloody and magnificent pushing forward a heart,
lungs, fingers, toes—in a man’s world, honey, Mom
said, a man’s world.

I heard a school principal explain how his interview
process involved breasts, how he told young women
to bend their elbows, place them against the wall
so he could determine—A, B, or C cup—all the better
to teach with, I suppose.

Years, centuries even before this 21st Century brought me
to her and her and her, the daughter, still plump with maternal
juices, smiling the mother-love of daughters and mothers, a
raucous cry trickles down my face, “Hot damn! I’m with HER!”

Marsha Owens says, “I am a child of the sixties, and my home state of Virginia still has not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. “