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I Am Woman
by: Shannon Hunt
i am woman, and i am dying.
I am chastised for eating too much and too fast, but when i nearly starve myself to death i am: selfish
looking for attention
trying to look like a supermodel
among other things. it's bad if i'm sick, but worse if i'm fat--where's the happy medium?
i am yelled at, patronized, abused for not doing my duty at home, but when i look for other work, i am turned away because i have ovaries or accepted into the company because i have breasts.
i try to be smart yet not too smart, thin but not too thin, happy on the outside while i am crying within. i must be strong and feminine, cut my hair short and do the same with my skirts. i am encouraged to exercise compulsively and eat healthily yet men hate big muscles and vegetarians. i am weak as an artist but too forward as a businesswoman or scientist. unwilling to go too fast in a relationship, i am a tease, but accepting a date desperately, i am a slut. i am dressed in pink lace but i am hard as nails. with all these contradictions, why do you think i am:
reluctant to take ap math
afraid to express my feelings
i'll tell you what i really can be. i can be confident artistic powerful intelligent and beautiful inside. i can be fat thin lesbian straight creative or businesslike, christian jewish buddhist or wiccan, black white hispanic asian native american or indian, a mother teacher physicist author doctor or lawyer. i can cry, laugh, love and hate. i can feel, and i can believe.
i am woman, and i am proud.
©1999 Shannon Hunt.
Reprinted with Permission.
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