Don’t break my toes and bind my feet
to mark my femininity –
I’d rather have feet big enough
to kick against such sad misogyny.
Don’t truss me in a bible-belt
of narrow-minded chastity.
Don’t lace me in a corset
of dutiful conformity.
Don’t weigh me down with golden rings,
don’t chain me to the kitchen sink
for I’ve a brain that needs to think –
so keep your drudgery.
Don’t make me wear my hair tied tight
but let its wildness flow.
Don’t veil my face, don’t hide my light,
my fire, my spark, my glow.
Don’t hem me in with prejudice
but let me breathe and grow
strong and graceful
as a swan, wise
as the moon.