VIII of Swords

It doesn’t have to be this way,
bound and blindfolded, with upthrust blades
penning you in, hard, cold and phallic.

You don’t have to obey.

That earth looks soft beneath
your bare feet. Feel it.
Where water flows, where flowers grow,
you too can go and flourish and be free.

Things don’t have to be this way.

Or is that, perhaps, the sea? Is the tide
on the turn, about to sweep in, swirling about
your legs, your waist, your breast, your face?
Are you a virgin still, a sacrifice
to the great sea serpent, the Stoor Worm?
Wriggle out of those bonds and run!

You don’t have to do what they say!

Or are you “an adulteress”,
condemned to pay for some man’s “sin”?
Wriggle, quick! Wiggle out of
that ugly brown robe, and run –
or swim! – be a mermaid! – but
do something! – and be free!

You don’t have to stay.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

The ground, the earth, is soft beneath
your bare feet. Feel it.
Where water flows and flowers grow
you, too, can go and flourish and be free.

Things don’t have to be this way.

Or is that, perhaps, the sea?
Is the tide on the turn, about to sweep in, swirling
about your legs, your waist, your breast,
your face, and you a virgin, a sacrifice
to the Stoor Worm, the great sea serpent?
Wriggle out of those bonds and run!

You don’t have to do what they say!

Or are you “an adulteress”,
condemned to pay for some man’s “sin”?
Wriggle, quick! Wiggle out of
that ugly brown robe, and run –
or swim! – be a mermaid! – but
do something! – and be free!

You don’t have to stay.
It doesn’t have to be this way.