I am not the women who came before me: they who think housekeeping is sweeping
empty bottles and unpleasant thoughts under rugs, forcing family to tiptoe on broken
glass and hushed secrets, they who ash cigarettes out kitchen windows, scurrying
smoke from lips while pshawing this dirty little habit.
Women who measure worth against waist size, trading soft earth mother bellies and
fully digested ideas for cinched belts and svelte cocktail party repartee: another martini?
They who surgically smooth out deeply dug trenches along lips pursed and brows
furrowed over decades more to ensure they stay on their husband’s bankroll, they who
say: you’ll meet your match at University, instead of pushing their daughters to pursue
degrees in engineering or mathematics or philosophy; they who say: behind every good
man is a woman, waiting.
I am not of the women who dress to go to bed: full face and freshly slicked lipstick,
practically perfect in every way; they who fear standing out, standing up, speaking loud,
being proud; they who call girls like me: Bitch. Bossy. Crazy.
There are days when I wonder: was I born into the wrong family?
I am of the tribe of women birthed from the bottle-necked loins of Dionysus, shot out
sparkling like a cork on New Year’s eve, raucous laugh bubbling over obnoxiously, the
loudest mother in the room yelling: follow me!
…or don’t – I respect your autonomy.
I am of the undomesticated: tumbleweed hair and tree trunk legs and the canyon crack
where headwaters run rivulets in freshly carved banks breaking bold paths toward
ocean freedom, flowing without pretense, arriving only as myself.
I am of the other: light feet, wild eyes that see too far, dangerous thoughts that wander
off the edge of the world, words that catch fire just to see what will burn.
Women who travel with a suitcase of outrageous blessings, who strap their pack to their
own back, piling wayward strands in gorgeous chaos upon a head filled with impossible
thoughts, they who trade delicacy for vast brilliance, who chart a path by stars and
Women who shed clothes not to show skin, but to feel the intricacy of each snowflake
as it lands, who refuse to become an endangered species, who, when told to colour
inside the lines, draw new lines.
Why did you write this poem?
For the firecracker women in my life who challenge the norm, stand on their own two capable feet, chase their wildest dreams no matter how impossibly big or seemingly unattainable, are unapologetically raw and real, laugh loudly – often and sometimes till they cry – and love with a heart that could swallow the world.
About Megan Dart
Megan is the co-Artistic Producer of Catch the Keys Productions, Edmonton’s go-to indie arts event and production company. Catch the Keys is equal parts party starter, community activator and multidisciplinary creator. Megan holds her Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing from Grant MacEwan University, and is a playwright, spoken word artist and freelance arts publicist. Megan is the artist liaison and publicity manager for Nextfest; the publicity manager for The Expanse Festival; a Street Team member with the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta; the President of The Good Women Dance Collective; and a committee member with Theatre Network and the Theatre Edmonton Project. Megan was named one of the Top 100 Women in Business by The Wanderer Online, and is a 2014 Grant MacEwan University Distinguished Alumni.