Scold’s Bridle by Jean Frances

I held back secrets
long fermenting in my belly
desperate for your approval
I must not tear out
the roots of our promises

Stop up your ears
so I am not forced
to choke back venom
Let me lift this child-mask
from my face
spit out the mustard
painted on my tongue
excrete the toxin
trapped beneath my skin

And let me speak as a woman
before the fastening
is hammered home again


Date: 2000

By: Jean Frances (19??- )

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