On Women’s Day –
we stand holding up more than half the sky
our arms as tired as our fake smiles
upon uttering a wish,
“Happy international women’s day.”
Too tired for happy.
tired of a Senate that won’t pass Women’s Healthcare Acts
tired of states grabbing for control over women’s bodies
tired of arguing why an athlete should be able to wear shorts that cover her ass if she wants
tired of wheedling voices saying “well, not ALL men…”
tired of being blamed for our low pay if we didn’t speak up
tired of being called a bitch for speaking up.
Tired of blank stares from other women
when you point out that we have no Equal Rights Amendment
no law guaranteeing equality for women
after it was fought for 50 years ago
and clearly we stopped too soon
because my friends who marched in the 1970s
now fear for granddaughters.
Stopped too soon because these grandmas
who helped women get safe abortions
and recover from unsafe ones in the 1960’s
now can’t believe the complacency and apathy
in the ears of those who can’t conceive
the metal clang of the canary cage door
and won’t be paying attention
as it slides shut behind them.
We are tired of the invisible
that we are meant to hold up more than half the sky
for 82 cents of every white man’s dollar
or 70 cents if we are black
or 65 cents if we are Latina
So arms trembling we hold up that sky
and feel shame that we lapsed in
the expected relentless virtuous gratitude
and try to wring pride in our resilience
from the stones in our hearts –
F*ck!ng international women’s day.