Muscle Mary

Muscle Mary,

She sways around her svelte self, unenthusiastically searching

As if looking for meaning. Lost in her senses

Even as passers fly by and condescend with their batting eyes

The nutty men staring down at her trodden cracked feet

And the catty women raising their noses at the shrieking malnourished flesh and bone in her bony arms

Her reeking baby with eyeballs so large they threatened to gauge out their sockets

But Mary doesn’t quite mind the stares, she has grown accustomed

She blatantly ignores them

For she knows all about unrequited attention and care

Married off at fourteen,

Ten times out of ten she was scraping and clawing,

Just as her betrothed had done her body too many times to count

And turn right around and expect her entire submission

She remembers taking the beating without tiring, even while in her third trimester

And still never shed a tear even while black and blue

Her husband would joke aloud ‘she takes it like a man’

And labelled her Muscle Mary to his bosom buddies

‘Cause she takes all of me,’ he would leer and wink and hoot with laughter

What was she to do? She liked to think she took it like her mom

See, she had lived in that reality

When her drunken father would rain blows on her tranquil mother

For just breathing wrong and attracting long stares from his companions

Shaming him, he would claim

Yes, she was definitely taking it just like expired mummy dearest

Up until under a tree dozing, lightning struck her beloved husband dead as a doornail

And Muscle Mary transitioned into the village sorceress in mere minutes

Rather than wait for her absolute burning at the stake

She carried her baby away in the cover of darkness and escaped into the night

Began her journey to places unknown

What she did know was that she had had enough

Enough of moral ambiguities and disquieting supremacists

Nature versus nurture was no longer a conundrum for her

She was sick and tired of being sick and tired

At 20 she knew she would work whatever remained of her muscles

And start over to redeem herself.

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