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).