The poems in our ongoing “Liberating Words” series were written in an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston, Mass. The course, “The Personal Is Political: An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a History teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the course focuses on the history and literature of second-wave feminism—the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Students read a compilation of poems by women writers from that period and then wrote their own poems; the assignment asked them to represent an issue or problem they see as central to 21st-century women’s experience through the very personal genre of poetry.
by Megan Kaye
to face the day she puts on her armor and wields a sword
the metal plates gleam with gold lining
(a soft metal
and her sword is studded with rhinestones
(awkward to swing
she puts on her armor
(in front of an open window)
(not too much to hide her “shape”)
(not over her long legs and spotless thighs)
(not covering her delicate fingers)
(not easy to run in but the heels are sexy)
and finally a breastplate
(a gilded push-up-bra)
there is no helmet to cover her face
her wide eyes
her wild, flowing hair
or her smile
(one day I asked my friend
why do they give her such useless armor?!
don’t they realize how exposed she is?
why, in battle,
would you leave your heart
he glanced up
Megan Kaye is a junior at the Winsor School in Boston.