You’ve not come to a meeting in three years— Within the movement, there are buzzing fears That marriage has ensnared you in its cage. And frankly, I myself have reached the stage Where anger has replaced the old respect. Now don’t get sulky—what did you expect? A happy private life was not our goal. You and I were meant to play a role In the great drama of our liberation. We were to rise above the female station, Not wallow in it, like contented sows, Or chew the cud of servitude, mere cows Supinely ready for the bovine pizzle. The fire of commitment—did it fizzle Out in your breast all swollen up with milk? Or is the marriage garment and its silk Stuck to your skin forever? How appalling That someone of your character and calling Should be immured at home with childish chatter. Come now, Lizzie—tell me what’s the matter! Six children? Truly, that is a disgrace. There is no shortage of the human race. While I made speeches and attended rallies You washed diapers and made up your tallies Of eggs and cream and butter. I’m offended. The only reason friendship hasn’t ended Between us is the fact that in the past You were my guiding beacon. Now, I’m last In your consideration. Your first thought Is of your family, not of what we sought To gain for women: suffrage and full rights. Your days are taken up—and as for nights, You spend them in submission to his lust, Fondled like a hussy, probed and bussed Until once more your belly swells with child. No, don’t touch me! I’m not reconciled With strokes and petting—no, not after treason. That is your crime. You left the paths of reason. You love this man, his children, and his flaws More than you love your sisters and the cause. Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide. He is the editor of the literary magazine Trinacria. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College.