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May 24, 2017

Compliments Confused with Catcalls. {Poem}

Breathless.

It’s hard to breathe
In this kind of weather.
The sun’s beating down, and the “should” index is high
Eat this, not that! Smile more! Don’t be fat!
Compliments confused with catcalls
Hard to stand tall, pushed against walls.
Breathing in shoulds while losing my why
Being a woman
Your way, not mine.

It’s
grinding
me
down.

They say, “You should be you.”
I quiver, “I’m too much. Don’t fit, not right.”
Trees of doubt and flowers of fear
Pollen collects as pressure, crushing, heavy
The weight of duty—correctness,
Watery eyes, tear after tear.
Don’t hide, dear!
Sit. Breathe in. Choke.

It’s hard to breathe
in this kind of weather.

~

~

Author: Genevieve Gellert-Ilg
Image: Leo Hidalgo/Flickr
Editor: Callie Rushton

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