For Paul Brookes’ April poetry challenge, I used the images by Anjum Wasim Dar and Gaynor Kane. You can see them here, along with all of the poetic responses.
A message from the obliterated to the obliterators
We don’t want to be put on a pedestal,
worshipped for our modesty and culinary skills,
kept out of the fray, the rough and tumble,
because we are too precious, too fragile,
because because because
Just stop asking or you know what will happen.
We don’t want to have decisions made for us,
because we are soft in the head, not quite formed,
but oh, so precious and maternal and modest,
and our place is safe indoors
and if you go outside alone, you’re a whore,
and you’ll get what’s coming to you.
We don’t accept that we need to ask permission,
that what you want is in anyway an ukase
dictated to counter our desires.
Women don’t know their own minds, fickle and treacherous.
Flowers and chocolates,
offered as parsimonious thanks,
are no substitute for a life,
for the right to choose which path,
and the right to follow it unhindered.
We are ourselves alone,
and we don’t belong to you.