How To Be A Woman – Tamara Fricke

Filthy backbones
bent to tasks
thick stubbed fingers
could never finesse
we are now presumed
apart of the baseboards
and are stronger for
daily wear.

The only sugared spices
left are used to hide
the stench of rotted meats
left too long in the larder
festering under the weight
of an unearned moral superiority.

Handfuls of idolized babydoll
graced models meant
to ingrain femininity into
work-worn leathered hides
furthers the delusion
we are a protected, precious

And when our collected
spines turn away maybe
then they’ll understand
how they built women.

Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

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