March 5, 2017

Three Poems by Linda M.Crate: "i will only ever be me," "girls with ambition," and "i'd rather honesty than skeletons"

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian, native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her third novel Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016.

Artwork Courtesy of Janine Pickett

i will only ever be me

sturdy as oak
yet malleable as water
passionate and hot as flames
wild as the wind
stiff as metal
i am
everything you both love and fear
there is magic in me that could never
be quashed beneath any boot,
and all my life
i have been told i am pretty;
as if by this birthright alone i am meant
to be only wife and mother
nothing more without hopes or dreams or aspirations
of my own—
yet i have this voice
deep inside of me shrieking protest because trees
are more than trees and birds are more than birds and songs are
more than songs
you cannot tell me i can only be a woman
for i am so much more than that,
and i will not be quashed
like the witches of the salem trials unfairly killed
for what are they but medicine women and healers?
people always fear and hate what they do
not know,
but there is no need;
i have always found the most beautiful things have mystery
as it is with me—
i will not be caged or forced upon a pedestal,
but i promise you will always get the truth of me
for better or for worse
because i am the only person i can ever be and i won't water myself down
or cut pieces of myself out so everyone's comfortable.

girls with ambition

what is it
people fear about
women with
is it the fact that we refuse
to be silent,
and that our voices will be heard
over the confusing din of
mediocre thoughts?
i cannot water myself down
so people do not feel uncomfortable
or inadequate
like a flower i bloom without thinking of
competition or sing like a bird with only the purport
of singing her song
we all have
to march into the heart of this world,
and we are but gaunt footsteps upon the heart of the
we are to be humble and kind,
it is true,
but i will not be taken advantage of or hurt either
i will burn bright in my brilliance with light and love;
yet i will singe you if i must
for my own
i have dreams to catch and prophecies to fulfill
and i will not crucify my worth or my dreams
simply so you can have a friend
that's easier to relate to.

i'd rather honesty than skeletons

i could never be
a house wife
down on her knees scrubbing floors
or standing to scrub walls or windows or stooped
over the dishes or vacuuming the floors
because there's always going
to be dust no matter how many times you dust,
and there's always going to be dirt
no matter how much you
i would much rather live
to jump and dive and swim into dreams and hopes and
there will always be time to clean,
but there may not always be days to enjoy life;
so i want to do this while i can
don't understand why
people are so caught up in the perfect house
because we're flawed and imperfect beings and i would rather
have an honest house over a spotless one
because it always seems
as if a squeaky clean
ballad always has something to hide,
and i don't want skeletons falling out of the closet when i'm trying to
have a tête–à–tête with friends.

© Linda M. Crate

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