Who Wore the Girdle

I don’t know why she got to wear the girdle.
I won all the footraces, yet stayed pale and calm,
my smile sincere to welcome other victors.
Modern-day Amazons don’t cry or cringe for pardon
any more than their sisters did when breaking mores,
but I still find a soft look and flattering tongue
do wonders for publicity and morale
in an era where only a glam-girl can be
the next big thing.  I’m not offended when men
open doors, even when I could rip them
off their hinges.  Don’t I earn some credit
for all those late nights wooing secrets
from starship captains and asteroid executives?
Maybe it’s not the Amazon way to plead a broken nail,
but I ask you, aren’t there better uses for strength
than wasting it on such easy targets?
Our princess doesn’t think so, convinced
we do our sisters greater harm, that victory
for a woman in a man’s world doesn’t leave room for fun.
But I could save more sisters in half the time,
leaving the milksop males to perish in the sea where they belong.
You ask me, it’s she who does her sisters harm.
Hippolyta’s sacred girdle should be kept
by a queen who’ll rule us here, not romp abroad
on planes or zephyrs, saving mortal lives
while our whole culture melts to mist and myth.

[Adele Gardner is currently painting portals in her hall and building a closet TARDIS.  Home wouldn’t be complete without five cats, five birds, a harpsichord, and two friendly guitars.  She’s had poems and stories in Goblin FruitStrange HorizonsDaily Science FictionSybil’s GarageThe Leading EdgeMythic DeliriumMindFlights, and Star*Line, among others.  She chaired the 2012 Rhysling Anthology.  Her first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, is available from Sam’s Dot Publishing.  Please note: most of this occurred under her previous byline, Lyn C. A. Gardner.]

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