To Angelica Schuyler Choate
and All the Others

Poetry >> To Angelica Schuyler Choate & All the Others

do not marry men with great ambitions,
with visions of glory:
for they’ll use yours as a ladder.
you’re a writer,
a scientist, a sociologist, a visionary
until he takes your words
and uses the profit to shut you up.
sometimes it’s behind stark institution walls
sometimes it’s behind your own door
and sometimes, sometimes–
when you’re too smart, and too wild
too beautiful and too full of life,
too emotional and sparkling too bright
to be a modest housewife–
he takes the words he took from you
and when he says them back they are so different
like you never owned them at all,
as he turns the key to lock you up
in your own mind.
history will remember him instead,
and the accomplishments he reached
using your back as a bridge
and your tears as nourishment.
if history is written by the victors,
find some solace in the fact
that there are still hidden histories passed on
to be deciphered only by those who recognize
from the ache deep in their hearts and bones,
that you are better than this
and you are known.