The internal cringe

Perched on the edge of my seat

answering to the big boss,

telling me I’m too friendly with the people making purchases,

telling me it’s my duty to tend to the salesmen,

that “the girls should keep to their role at the front,”

grin and greet,

don’t converse,

oh “you’re lovely, but you’re a girl”,

don’t wander

don’t ponder,

assume your position,

keep to the “yes sir”, “yes madame”,

stand there,

by the window,

there you go,

that’s where you go,

now don’t deviate,

leave the tough tasks

to the big boys,

don’t dirty your pretty fingers,

stand by that window.


Hey, hello,

I’m in here,

drowning in this perpetual fish bowl,

can you see me

for who I really am,

or do you just see a piece of flesh

that you could gnaw your teeth into

as you walk by us

perched on the rim of our designated cages,

you know we’re just trying to have a good time

while making a dime,

goofing around

’cause, hey,

we’re still getting the job done,

we’re just having some fun,

and dreaming of

maybe the day

that we’ll be able to tear away these barricades

and shatter that shiny glass

that intercepts this unequal batting ground.


Until then we’ll breathe hot air against your solid glass-shield

and draw protestations with our fingers,

taking on the tasks you tell us not to,

just to surpass the illusory roles that you try to cloak us in.