Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Save Herself

It was a story I heard,
how women
throughout history
who were unable to create their art
started to rearrange the furniture
in their homes.

It made me laugh at first,
what a strange thing to do,
to move a couch or an end table.
To pull the heavy weight of the television set
across the room.

To shift the angle
and the ease
and the viewpoint
over and over again
because you cannot put your heart into this world.

I think of my mother.
I’m sure you are now thinking of yours

and wondering if there is some truth to this claim.
Some sad kernel that goes beyond
the anonymity of women’s work
the anonymity of women’s art

something that speaks to a larger
more feral pain
a witchy sort of anger
something she does when the men are not around
so they come home to this change
that she alone invoked
and conjured up

like a spell,

a house that is a prison
a domesticity that is a trap
women’s work as shackles

so instead we have
a woman rearranging her space
in order to rearrange her mind
in order to
save herself.

--Ally Malinenko

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