Four poems by Caroline Johnstone

I am not a silent poet

Solvitur ambulando

Sleep eludes me for we wait, and still we must wait;
for change comes slowly, slowly, in drips
of sweetened milk and force-fed quiet protest.

We must be ladylike as we rock the status quo.
Resistance must not stamp its feet, flaunt itself,
give anyone excuses to blame our sex.

They waved their placards, politely petitioned
for rights, took toffee hammers to shop windows,
set fire to the establishment –

yet still we pick our steps through cacophonies
of wolf whistle stares, sexist shaped salaries,
misogyny that chokes us, clings like muck to our souls.

It is not us who needs to clean our act up.

The moon turns the pages of a new century,
reaches to the corner of my room, shines
on my soft leather boots that sit, tongue silenced.

Worn out and ready to be polished, their impotent gaze mocks
my rage that this…

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