Reluctant culprit

(for all women who fight to live in dignity)

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I turned around and
years had
been swallowed

and nobody told me
life would hasten
to judge me again

reluctant culprit,
twice convicted,
being a woman,
and now growing old

years ago
wanted for play
and wanted for work
curves could convince
and eyes would coerce
(parentheses
around the lewd,
of course)

I waved
a red flag
to go beyond
no audience there
to crush these walls

of a prison set
right after birth
the law could bend
albeit never break

today
not wanted for play,
not wanted for work
no respect to get
or wisdom to give
(a target for botox,
that set aside)

I waved
a white flag
at an empty hall

no audience there for
a withering hag;
no status or justice
for this gender spurned

rules can still bend,
and yet never break.