Liberating Words: “Her Armor”

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.

A.D. Isaac / Creative Commons

Her Armor
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
but pretty)
and her sword is studded with rhinestones
(awkward to swing
but pretty)

she puts on her armor
(in front of an open window)
padding first
(not too much to hide her “shape”)
then chainmail
(not over her long legs and spotless thighs)
then gloves
(not covering her delicate fingers)
then boots
(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
your legs
your arms
he glanced up
and shrugged

Megan Kaye is a junior at the Winsor School in Boston.



Lia Kornmehl is a junior at the Winsor School who is passionate about jazz music, milk chocolate, and equal opportunities for women in the workplace.