They Ask Her to Shine Under Their Net

Flaming June –– Frederic Leighton 

Death suits her as she naps,
a sun goddess burning time
into ashes of opinions.

It is not a physical death,
but the exhaustion of enduring
men’s explanations of all things feminine.

They fantasize what she should be,
boast of her beauty, attempt to cage her
in their allowances, but scream fowl
when she resists.

She looks delicate, malleable, but she
is fierce, a descendent of women 
who refused attempts to groom them
into submissive ribs of men. 
Beware when she awakens.
She will be rested, and if the
male ego feels brave enough
to attempt blame and shame,
she won’t be the one left scarred.

©Susie Clevenger 2023