To be a woman is to be a key,
a pin, an axe. It is to learn how
to open doors that have always
been closed to you. It is to learn that
most of them will always stay that way,
no matter how you forget the shape of your body.
To be a woman is to be the shore,
a tree, the sky. It is to notice that
nothing will ever stay. It is to notice that
your hands will always be reaching towards
things that do not let you grow, even when
you still do not feel like enough of someone.
To be a woman is to be a cloud,
a petal, flesh. It is to have a softness in your
soul that makes the gods unafraid. It is to have
a softness that does not make you a threat to
those with thicker skin, to those who want to
make an impression on you.
To be a woman is to be a vacancy sign,
an object, a word. It is to welcome the darkness
without questioning why you should make a home
for it. It is to welcome anything that is
expected of you, so they cannot name
your body disappointment.
To be a woman is to be a gun,
a shield, a banner. It is to fight wars that
you will never win, just in case the tides may
turn. It is to fight yourself in battles across your body
and still not know which side you want to lose,
your beauty or your mind.
To be a woman is to be a survivor,
a carer, a lover. It is to become a universe
enveloped in the clothing of skin. It is to become
proud of having the kind of strength that
does not let you give up, even when they tell you
that is all you are good for.
Georgie Funnell is a 21-year-old woman who believes in the power of poetry to heal. There are many issues that she is passionate about changing, including the stigma surrounding mental health and the inequality between genders. She can be found at http://georgie-may-funnell.tumblr.com.