to be female

By Sarah Stoltzfus Allen

i bear a curse
every single day of my life
and love and

it has woven itself into the fiber of
my speech and batting eyelashes
and the move of my hips and
how i cover up God given
breasts and
curves and reproductive organs

it rears its head in workplaces
and paychecks and

i have no
but to deal with
Mother Eve’s
lapse of judgment
her mistake playing out in homes
and marriages
and churches and bars

and Father Adam’s first words
after the fall from grace
will tumble out of man’s mouth
over and over

“this woman!
If you hadn’t given me
this woman
i would not have let my lips close around
forbidden fruit!”

but God, in His infinite wisdom
placed a curse,
but did not
rename the species