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They say they know when a child will be beautiful when she’s older

From the very moment she is detached from her mother’s womb and labeled as “female” on her birth certificate, 

Her beauty will define her 

“With eyes like those you’ll just know she’ll break so many hearts!”


They say a girl crosses the golden bridge to womanhood the second she menses 

The sign that she is ready to bear children

Nobody told her that her that it would feel like someone opened her up, give her organs a good twist, then sewn her back up

They also failed to mention that she would be shamed for her blood until the day she no longer bleeds

The weight of the world sits on her shoulders yet they always figure out how to add more

“Never open your pad too loudly in a public bathroom, nobody can know!”


They say that evil takes the embodiment of a teenage girl

As her adrenal glands fight to hold the estrogen that rages within her 

This is the fuel she uses to light her fire

Her body begins to bud

Using her development as an invitation, the men in her neighborhood can’t help but to stare

“These girls should have to write their ages on their forehead nowadays!” 


They say only the smartest get into good colleges 

But when the frat boys slip her their special concoction of ketamine and testosterone 

She can’t help but to disagree 

Everyday she learned how the cells in our bodies divide and how nuclear bombs are produced 

Yet she never did learn how to cover her drink well enough 

“She’s definitely asking for it!”


They say a woman loses her beauty at a certain age 

When the collagen begins to collapse 

And the tide of the angry sea within her finally calms 

Although she is a mother, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a healer, a fighter

The reflection in the window of Gucci on 5th Ave will always speak louder than her PhD in Nuclear Physics 

“Have you thought about getting botox?”


They say a woman is no more than a mound of flesh

Not a single thought behind her eyes 

A baby making machine

Only created for men to lust after

Made in the image of Adam 

Nothing more, nothing less

But I wonder when they’ll realize that Adam was nothing without Eve 

And there is nothing quite like the fire that burns through estrogen 

The anger, the rage 

Festering and building year after year 

The mind of a woman is unlike anything on this earth 

Birthed from constellations and black holes 

Mysterious and never to be understood 

Sarah Mengel

Kutztown '23

Junior English major with a minor coffee addiction :)
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