Diane Silver

Me, Defined

Double chin. Big belly. Ample bosom. Short.
A man's cropped hair. Lesbian. Dyke. Use the old
slang, call me bulldagger. If I were allowed to hobnob
with debutantes, I’d be in the back of the ballroom.
They'd be bending willows in their white ball gowns,
crinoline-stiffened skirts, their arms bare. Even in
my best jeans, crisp white shirt (collar up), black blazer,
I’d be the boulder. Too big to be fashionable. Too weird
to be heard. I’m the one the kids at school laughed at.
The one thing you never wanted to be if you were a girl.
The one whose kind has never blessed a magazine cover.
The one who blushes even though I feel about myself
the way roots must feel about their oak, the way
the sea must feel about its tallest wave,
the way I hope you feel someday.

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Diane Silver is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and essayist whose work has been published in Ms, The Progressive, MockingHeart Review, The Coop, the anthology, Kansas Speaks Out: Poems in an Age of Me Too, and many other publications. Her books include the Daily Shot of Hope meditation series.