Rallying cry

It’s 2020.
Why am I still being told how
I should be?

Why should I have to question
how my body occupies space
Whether I’m seen for my age
(if I’m seen at all)
And why I still hide tampons up
my sleeve as I dash to the toilet?
Why should the “who” I am
be dictated by what I look like,
By my muscles, limbs, abilities,
Or by my size and shape?

I ask because it impacts
how I move in the world
The places I feel free to go
The states I let people see me in
The sport I decide to play
And the challenges I make my own.

So in 2020,
I will not apologise for being loud
For being fat
Or soft
Or bony, sweaty, delicate
or out of shape.

I will not apologise for being good
For being muscular or lean or
“out of place.”
I will not apologise for being messy,
For sweating through my shirt
or bleeding through my pants,
And I will not apologise for
pausing when I need to –
Taking a breath
Taking stock of how I feel
Taking things at my own pace.

Because it’s 2020, and we can be
women however we want to be.

This body is mine,
and the one to
define what it can
do is me.