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Photograph, Nineteenth Century

that womanthat picture
the images of beauty and softness
of something that shouldn’t be touched
that couldn’t workthat can’t work
the sepia toningoh how ancient
oh the dependencyoh the degradation

my mind has been cluttered
society’s a bastard
I can’t see the women
I see the hatthe feather
the adornments of beauty
the preposterous impractical way
she has been made to be seen
and not heard

she’s only an image
she was forced with an image
is it a shameis it a sin
and now I’ve been tainted
with the knowledge of society
with the knowledge of it’s motives
and now I can’t even see the beauty
I can only see the oppression

“oh, it’s not like that anymore” they say
as I wipe the make-up off my eyelids
and wonder who I’m trying to impress

Copyright Janet Kuypers.
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