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Poetry: Don’t dread the femme

A poem by Iman Mackenzie. Illustrated by Abi McDonald.

2 mins read

I am the fury inside
Your head. You didn’t
Truly think I was dead?

Old Thomas told me not to go
Gentle into the goodnight, so I let the
Darkness feel my wrath, but never any
Fright. For on my way out I wanted the
World to reckon the force it had just
Extinguished. To know that my life is
Not so easily finished.

I forged myself in fire, bathed in my ire.
They loved me when I wore lace but
Hated me when I wanted to move at my
Own pace. Only be pure, and sweet and soulful.
Far from sin, where it all begins.

After all, are we all not born from desire
We sing to the bedroom choir, we dance
And delve into sheets, oh so discreet.
But it is all deceit.

Men call women either whores or bores
You want us wild in the sheets, but ladies in the streets.
So promising, so proud, so timelessly prudish.
What will it be, darling? Gold hoops or white pearls?

A life in the kitchen dusted in flour, food on the table
Or dancing in the rain and living life by the hour.
Now don’t be sour, you cannot kill power like me.
Only bury it deep beneath the aprons, the plastic smiles
And the reckless denial.

Be a whore, be a whore, be all that
And more. Do not let them label us, we
are not unstable. We are perfectly capable.

They want you to fear me: femininity.
To resent your womanhood, to pay the pink tax
But you will not: we will thrive together again.
Wear the crimson lipstick, enjoy the click of your heels.

Be proud of your body, be proud of yourself
Do run from womanhood, spear towards it.
It’s you, it’s me, it’s us.

Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.

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