*Woman, Crushed and Owned

I minimized myself, my words, my presence.

Because they told me I was just *too much.*
Too much person for a small girl’s body,
for a decent woman,
for respectability,
inclusion,
love.
Small
I made myself.
Crushed and
Deformed.
With violence
I folded my limbs
into preassigned boxes.
I surgically removed
parts of me
deemed unacceptable.
With one arm I slowly sawed off
my other gesticulating limb
before consciousness
fled from me.
Through tears and nightmares
I aborted my ebullience
and dreams.
When I was young
I laughed too much,
sang too loud
and said wrong things
stridently.
I fixed that first.
In trauma and fear
I sanded my throat to shreds
to learn the right whisper.
In blood and terror
I clipped my vocal chords.
I severed them with home-made cleavers
passed down through generations.
With one hand
I clumsily
sutured my lips shut
to cover smiling teeth.
This has been done for ages.
When the head of new life
poked forth from the first womb
they no longer let her hunt.
“Stay at camp, Woman!”
“We own you!” They said.
“We will protect you and your babes
because this is a man’s world.”
“This is for your own good
though you know it not.”
“One day we will let you roam
however you cannot creep far.”
They marked me.
Covered my head.
Made me grow my hair long.
“It is your glory,” They said.
“Your hair is your glory,
as you are the glory
and helper of man.”
They bundled my breasts
hid my legs and
locked up my cunt
until They deemed it worthy of use.
I learned to modify my body,
Strangle myself in corsets.
I unlearned how to walk
after binding my own two feet.
When my uniform
was loosened
my subservience remained.
They reminded me,
“You are Woman.”
“Wear what you like.”
“But if you cannot control the new life that pokes through your womb,
Nor control the days you bleed
Nor learn
That your body
Is yours alone…,
Then
Forever and
Always
We will
Own you.”
Katya Evangeline (c) 2017
Photo Credits:
Heart Photo via FreeImages.com/Marcel Michelini
Blood in Bathroom via FreeImages.com/Carrie White
Bleeding Angel via FreeImages.com/Michelle Kwajafa

 *For the life I me I cannot get WordPress to format this post correctly. It is not supposed to be one large block of text. 

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