When they said “she’s a breath of fresh air” they didn’t mean me—
brown and small as a nut and grouchy, too. My therapist said as much, admitting that he discounted some women—frowning women, er, when he was younger, he amended.
I feel so proud when I see younger women feeling proud.
Their ex mother in law will never say to them, “I thought we solved all that in the 60s” (though she didn’t know my mother, or her own son) and their bosses will never force them against a wall.
Now I think about developing a self-help program for women like me, like us, with unhappy mothers and small paychecks, the ones who still sing along with Tori Amos when no one’s picking up the phone
I pull my leggings up over my belly, playing today’s music, skimming today’s headlines, imagining that I’ll never be passed over for a job again.
That maybe the proud young girls will make the lawmakers listen and, maybe together, we can stop what’s coming for girls younger than all of us.
I think about the possibility of being counted, about the ones doing the counting—I think about my mother’s mouth
hardened into a quiet line.