Poem: Permission

This is for the women who don’t ask permission
To be themselves.
This is for the women who are done with working on their contentment
And started working on their lot.

This is for the women whose posture says
“Fuck you, punk. I got it covered.”

This is for the women who’ve come too damn far
To waste time worrying whether you approve.
This is for the women who wear what they want, swear how they want,
Drink and fuck and love and fight and wring every ounce like it’s only their business.
Because it is.
And they’ve realised.

This is for the girl in class who’s done with playing dumb-
Yes, she knows the answer-
Yes no one else has put their hand up for the last ten minutes-
Yes the teacher is looking past her raised hand asking-
“Does anyone know the answer?
Anyone… else?”
But she’ll be damned if she’s gonna hide her own light.

This is for the gaybar barmaids
Who know their regulars inside and out
And wear those memories proud, like diamonds.
This is for the sweet little old lady
With the dirtiest laugh in the nursing home. 

This is for my Godmother Sara:
Terminal, regal, naughty,
And ‘educating’ her doctors
About the munchies.

This is for the women
Who’ve worked past violence and ridicule
To ensure that their daughters
Never needed to be liberated.

This is for the tough old birds
And the earnest youngsters
Who know that life is too personal, too precious,
Too Goddamn important
To let the magazines take a slice.

This is for the women who’ve stopped counting calories
And started counting stars.

This is for Dorothy Parker’s forked tongue
Patti Smith’s horses
Boudicca’s chariots
And Rosa Parks’ tired feet.

This is for the women we could be,
                                                              Can be,
                                                                           Will be

Just as soon as we stop
                                        Asking permission
                                                                           To be.

See this poem performed live

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