The Myths of Girlhood

Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

Brave and Reckless

we were spoiled

for reality

by milk chocolate-coated fairy tales

force fed us as girls

made to swallow

not spit

myths about beauty



taught that only pretty, pretty princesses

would be awoken by

true love’s first kiss

impossible standards of beauty


made for

bitter cherry centers

that left us empty



how old were we

when we learned

that mere mortal girls

like us

would never be beautiful enough

thin enough

kind enough

pure enough

to win Prince Charming’s gold enrobed heart?

we ate up the lessons that with the right make-up

the right clothes


if we took enough quizzes

in Seventeen magazine

about how to popular

how to catch his eye

contorted ourselves into pretzels

we might almost be enough

to be invited to dance at the ball

drink a brief taste of the pink champagne dream

before the clock struck midnight

and we…

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Little Girls

Karem Barratt/Singing Hearts

Singing Heart


Little girl car rebecca 

I once heard that little girls were made of sugar

and spice and everything nice.

And it’s true.

But they forgot about the butterflies,

And the adventures in golden meadows

To catch them.

They forgot about the trees and the rope to climb them.

They forgot about the stars and the telescope to see them.

They forgot about the skyscrapers and the bricks to build them.

They forgot about the pianos and the notes to play them.

They forgot about the jiggles and the breeze to carry them.

They forgot about the broken hearts and the audacity to heal them.

They forgot about the dreams and the courage to seek them.

They forgot about the monsters under the bed.

And the mettle to fight them, beat them

And make them your friends.

They forgot about unexpected thunders and warm parents’

Beds, where little girls run to protect them.

They forgot…

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Brave Enough

Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

Brave and Reckless

Are you brave enough

to love the suicide girl

pierced with silver

dressed in black ink

whose vanity

was shorn off with her hair?

Are you strong enough to drive away

the wolves who worry her door?

Can your words drown out

their mournful howls

calling out to her feral heart?

Are you ready for the demons

who come with black roses

during long dark nights of her soul

whispering their ugly lies

poking her deepest fears with their dirty nails

wooing her to the razor sharp edge?

Or are you just another would-be lover

who tasted death on her tongue

the blood in her tears

and ran?

Image courtesy of Pinterest

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

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Revolution-Introducing Kristen Wood

[Poem and picture by Kristen Wood]

You say you want a revolution.
Change the world,
but look good doing it.
Nobody likes an ugly rebel.
Protest, but peacefully.
Provoke, but prettily.
Warring with the world
and that last ten pounds.
Troublemaking radicals,
extreme in their tactics,
but not in their lipstick shades.
That would be too unconventional.
Liberals must look conservative
to be subversive.
Resolving to riot and reform,
but reasonably and respectfully.
Repentant revolutionaries.

[Kristen Wood is a mother of five, a writer, a reader, a student, and an aspiring librarian. She has had her work published on Mothers Always Write, and is an ongoing contributor to the online magazine, Still Standing. She is also a proud pop culture geek and a champion napper. She loves to make people laugh and make people think, and if she can do both at the same time, even better.]


Check out Vivian Zems!

Smell The Coffee

Grabbing a shovel

Digging for the truth

The lie lay hidden

Not daring to move

Sensing great danger

The lie called for help

More lies arrived

Covering their friend

Protecting him to the end

Noticing the strange pile

Sticking out of the ground

The lie was unaware

That he was now a mound

Poking and prodding

Putting shovel to good use

All the lies Scampered

Then all hell broke loose

Copyright © 2017
Vivian Zems

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Still Life in the Oral Surgeon’s Chair -Introducing Robin Wright

Still Life in the Oral Surgeon's Chair
[Poem by Robin Wright]

After my fear of teeth being twisted,
cut, pulled like plugs for barbaric
bloodletting, after the mask covers
my nose and the nitrous has reduced
my hands and feet to far-off
sensations, thoughts fly from my body
and laugh from above.

But I endure, rise, retreat
from the chair, no longer still,
no longer the surgeon’s
mouthy masterpiece.

Robin Wright’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Indiana Voice Journal, Eunoia Review, Peacock Journal, Unbroken Journal, (b)OINK zine, Lost River Literary Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, and others. Two of her poems were published in the University of Southern Indiana’s 50th anniversary anthology, Time Present, Time Past. She has also co-written two novels with Maryanne Burkhard under the name B. W. Wrighthard, Ghost Orchid and A Needle and a Haystack.