78 cents

I want those 22 cents per dollar
some man made more than me
for that precise thinking, for that same lifting,
for my exact educational level
and similar scrubbing–money lost
for every second of life worked

I want to be buried in pennies
so I know how much less weight
I was given, how much less force,
how much purchase power bled away
with menses and led to poverty of power

and then I want to spend those pennies,
not on makeup, or rent, or toothpaste, or chicken
at the store; not on car repairs
or nylons, or chewing gum

no, I want those 25 years of 22 cents per dollar
to go elsewhere, those combined pennies
spent on new glasses, so I can see clearly
past my own borders, into the lives
of  women and girls, who live
in parts of the world where
to be born female
is worse than a prison sentence,

where they are bought, sold, traded,
owned, murdered,maimed, secluded,
and devalued far more than 22 cents on a dollar
so I can raise my voice
to change something far more important
than 22 pennies

if I could just see it

***This is not to say that US women should not be concerned about equal pay, not at all.  I just want us to use this anger over inequity here as a force to effect change globally, where it is desperately needed.  Also, this figure has been disputed and spun every which way, and is now purportedly up to 70 cents on the dollar.

I don’t want to argue about the stats in here.  This is a rework of a poem from 2012 for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, which asked us to write poetry somehow involving money.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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6 Responses to 78 cents

  1. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    A thought provoking poem. Brilliant Susan. 🙂

  2. the best sort of social poetry

  3. C says:

    “I want to be buried in pennies” … lofts me.

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