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your judgments must be proud

by linda m. crate


"you better not be a lesbian"

oh, mama, wish i could say

i made you proud;

but i fell in love with a girl once

i'm not a lesbian but my

arrow is a little crooked

wouldn't make a good weapon

to kill any creature—

my heart loves people not bodies

always it has

i think that's why you uttered those words,

but would you really not love me

for my truth?

you told me once that i was honest,

that i was kind, that i was loving;

so why can i not be

who i am without fearing you won't

love me anymore?

your voice hisses at me

whenever i think of telling you who i am truly,

and i turn away;

sometimes i cannot reckon with my own emotions

your judgments must be proud.


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).

Drawing the Line

Drawing the Line

i do not want your strength