Broadside

narrative feminism

A poem on letting go.

I wish I would have known

To practice harder at letting go.

Growing up everyone told me to savor,

To treasure, to keep, to hold.

Now, the door slams.

He screams, “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LET IT GO!?”

I don’t know.

I don’t know how.

I try at night,

As I cry into my pillow,

But I don’t know how.

*

My mother raised me to be a fighter.

My father wanted me to soar.

All the teachers said I was gifted.

All my family said it, too.

“You’ll be president one day,”

Said grandma as we watched the nightly news.

The press and the print are daily pressures:

Everywhere I look—

I’m a woman—

I’m supposed to be more,

Give more,

Have more,

Love more,

Live more,

Laugh more…

The only thing this man-happy world consistently tells me to do less of is c r y.

*

So when I look in the mirror,

at the bags under my eyes,

The pudgy skin above my hips,

And between my thighs,

Analyze every sag on my arms,

Every pore on my face

And I think about all of the words

Of hate, and shame,

And embarrassment,

That line the bones of my body,

Trust me…

I wish I knew how.

I WISH I KNEW HOW

To let it all go,

To feel free,

But I never got that memo.


— Isabella Margot

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