Poem: Retribution

I like this poem best in its handwritten form, so I had to include it at the bottom. I like the red ink, the little imperfections and quirks — the circles scattered around the page and the shape the poem makes around them. I like the way they play with your reading pace. WordPress doesn’t allow me to get that inventive with the formatting in text, so I’ve posted three versions: The handwritten one because I love it, the text screenshot so you can actually read it, and a plain text version in case you can’t see the images for some reason. Sorry for the redundancy. The words are exactly the same in all three, but they are still three different reading experiences, which may be of interest to people who are fascinated by format.

This poem is about patriarchy and religion as a tool of power, in case you hadn’t noticed. We are all these sparky little children standing in the kitchen watching our parents discuss what they think we can’t understand. We are all reading the situation on a much deeper level than they think we are. Not only do we understand the argument, but we instinctively know when they are wrong.

We have our better instincts smacked right out of us by the swift right hand of the power structures that govern us.

Imagine all the things you’d say if you weren’t afraid of retribution.

None of it matters, you know? 
He said tossing down
his Bible on the table
we can't let them know that
I truly hope I'm wrong but

He lit a cigarette
It makes them happy
It's a beautiful dream
They aren't ready
to wake up

You'd have to break them
and reprogram.
They won't know what to do.
They need an angry daddy
and a mean leather belt.

But we are self-aware
we children in the kitchen
standing in our PJs
with fast little brains
and sharp dark eyes

And when we called him a liar
he did not blink.
His face
Grew red with rage
and embarrassment
and he would prove us right
with his swift right hand.
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