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When the Clerk at the Post Office Asks If There’s Anything Inside My Package That’s Liquid, Fragile, Perishable, or Potentially Hazardous

A reponse to those naysayers who scoff at the pussyhat.

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I say no, tell him it’s just a hat
I knitted for a friend, pink wool
that emitted a whiff of sheep
when wet. But fragile, yeah: what’s red
when it’s leached of rage and fire? Faded
bruise of twilight after the sun
has abandoned the sky, the pink we’re taught
to want when little and princesses
or Cinderella when she understands
she’s nothing without the other
high heel and a prince to kneel
at her feet, to giggle when he snatches
her hat and tosses it into trees because
boys will be boys and the world’s
their locker room to dirty with jock
straps and pussy jokes, imagining
we’re waiting outside the door arched
and yowling for it, no
not just a hat but a small surge
in a pink power grid of women
delivering fisted volts of Yes.
We. Can, amped up and hazardous
only if you can’t stand the heat.

 

Artists Statement

My poem speaks to the power of the pussyhat as a symbol of women uniting to march together on Saturday — and to stand together thereafter — in support of their rights as women and human beings.

SOURCEWritten by Sarah Freligh, New York, USA.
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Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Other books include A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editors Choice award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone, a book of poems that follows the rise and fall of a fictional pitcher named Al Stepansky. Her work has appeared in Sun Magazine, Hotel Amerika, BOAAT Journal, Rattle, on Writerâs Almanac, and anthologized in the 2011 anthology Good Poems: American Places. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

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