Because she’s a woman
they held her down
and taped her ideas
to the ceiling –
far from her reach.
They held her down
and told her: Standing
Is for cowards!

Because she’s a woman
they told her bleeding
Is dirty, that good
Women breed before
Thirty, that strength
is a weakness; and she
Believed them,
Spent her last pennies
Buying into their madness.

Because she’s a woman
they scraped away her
Confidence with polished
Nails on the silky cover
Of a magazine. They broke
Down any fight she tried
to stand for.

And when she looks in the
Mirror now all she sees
Is a shadow, an ugliness
That no compliment can
Wipe away.