they said

(1st place in PCCA’s Awards for Poetic Excellence)

they said / what college are you going to / they said / volunteer to help the less fortunate / you can put that on your resume / you need a master’s degree for that job / we were impressed with your cover letter / they said / it’s time to get married / you’ll find a way to afford the wedding / why aren’t you changing your last name / they said / a few more years and loans and we will call you doctor / they said / you can work and study / and become a mother / parenthood is a joy you cannot measure / they said / as they counted my salary / my gpa / my bmi / they said / you’ve become too much wife / not enough of the stuff you used to be /they said / you were such an independent woman / they said / you’ve become too distracted / they said / you can’t put that on your curriculum vitae / they use the word career a lot / they use more numbers than poems / they give me titles and try to call it identity / they almost made me believe i had to interview for this body / made me think i had to prove something to the committee / made me feel like love is something to achieve / they almost convinced me / life is something i could have more of / if i just worked a little harder

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