Make Muse

For the young womxn who wants to make a change.

Womanhood and the Woman Who Taught Me How to Do it

Womanhood and the Woman Who Taught Me How to Do it


This poem is very near and dear to my heart. I wrote this about womanhood in general, the growing up of it, the pain in it, the masks we wear to do it and, mostly, about the woman who taught  me how to do it-- my mom.

My mother is my biggest influence in my life. I have seen her change with the times as her strength and power has only become greater as she’s aged. I was so scared of being a girl, in truth. I didn’t understand the place I was supposed to sit in and I felt that she was the person who made me question it. She never fit into one mold and was always inexcusably her own.

I hope women can read this and understand the juxtaposition of being a good mother and being a good woman, as they sometimes clash when you are trying to do the right thing to protect your child from the cruelty of society. Her sacrifices were never waved in front of my face, and her truth was never pushed onto me, making her own personal experiences a tale she only tells in dreams. Her humility made her brave. Being female is strong, but hers is the strongest.

She Only Speaks In Dreams

Oh, the blood. Running down my legs into the pristine linoleum,

spilling horror out of my body.

“A woman you now are,” my mother closed her eyes and

graced me with the cotton septor.


You’ve qualified for male impertinence and scrutiny

for the rest of your bloody life.

Rejoice in your doom.

Give resilience to the monthly reminder

that your body is man’s machine.

The next fourteen years of poppy-seeded

stubble body hairs sprouting about your body

should be waxed and waned

as quickly as the man changes in the moon.

At twenty you’ll go to bars

and learn to only

speak fairytales from your tongue,

kiss sweetness from your lips,

lick sugar from the rim.  

Until sweetness turns sour

and you catch your mother

speaking riddles in her sleep.

Tossing in the night between

the woman

she should have been

and the one he made her into,

Smash your septor, baby,  

Braid your leg hairs,

Kiss only when you mean it,

Drink whiskey, neat.


By Kendall Rotar

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