by Cheryl L. Daytec

In fairy tales, they stole your strength

Made you

A wispy figure

Whose salvation is

In the kiss of a prince

In Holy Books you have been

Targeted for stoning, for burning`

A prostitute

A widow purged of essence

A rambling witch

A wife defiled

An unwed mother

An uncircumcised virgin

You have been dragged through

The corridors of sorrow

A grieving mother

A hurting wife

An ignored daughter

You have been built

To a prototype

Scared of your power:

A mind shorn of will of its own

A head for nodding

To your father and husband

Eyes for weeping

A tongue for talking balderdash

And singing men’s accolades

Arms for holding infants

And drying laundry

Legs for moving around the kitchen,

Or for toddling behind patriarchy

Come. Sprint to higher ground

From the depths of submission

Jump off the pages of fairy tales

Bolt the pigeonhole’s door

Be as a butterfly emerging

From the cocoon

Soaring to heights

Seeking its metamorphosis

Awing the world

For there are struggles

To lose without your strength

There are problems

Unsolved without your wisdom

History is a narrative of lies

Without your story

For truth cannot be half of itself