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i do not want your strength

by linda m. crate 

masquerading
as a man
there was a monster breathing
beneath your flesh
it once tormented me,
and sometimes still does;
but i've took a stand
against the monster of the past
you will not rip me asunder with your
nightmares—
father, you weren't always right,
and i wasn't always wrong;
you were wrong when you said
one day i would see you were right
i only see you were needlessly
strict and cruel
to a girl who only wanted to be loved—
you starved and left me
for dead beneath
sun & moon
yet they breathed new light and life
in these old bones,
and i know you couldn't understand me
but neither could i you;
mighty hunter who took down animals
without flinching
my heart hurt to even think of killing
because it felt like murder
to purposefully inflict death upon any other living thing
i just couldn't—
but if that is weakness
i do not want your strength
to wound another is murder enough
& you killed me every day.

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 five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).

your judgments must be proud

we both didn't learn love

we both didn't learn love