after Philip Levine
It’s wonderful how they jog
in two-toned gel soled racing shoes
their yoga butts barely jiggling
in rosy spandex leggings.
I was there once. I felt
the brash I’ve got it all, I had
the uncomplicated beauty of the young
before the years peeled it from me
like flimsy wallpaper. In my memories
women’s work was pin money
to pay for ballet lessons, summer camp;
suffering children, suffering filing jobs
suffering their husbands
who poured from the commuter train
gin-flushed and slurring. You who
I raised on Our Bodies, Our Selves
believe that feminism’s as passé
as the sanitary napkin and the typewriter.
You roll your eyes and smirk
at my pleas not to become housewives.
I’ve seen that beast
hook its teeth on the cleverest PhD
and take her down for decades.
That won’t happen to us,
you say, we’ve come too far.
We’re protected under the law
a majority, a force.
No. Not that big.