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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).

i do not want your strength