TWO POEMS by Linda M. Crate

rome will always fall

you wanted my flowers
not my thorns,
but they go together;

light and darkness
are sisters
not enemies—

one cannot exist
without the other,
but you always wanted

to choke out all the things
you didn’t like in me
and break my wings so i had

no choice but to wait
in this cage
until i became who you wanted;

you called me a monster
because i refused to be a weak woman—
i wasn’t going to waste my magic or my power

so a weak man like you could
gain satisfaction,
you wanted me to be a lady but i am a legend;

refused to live my life by your rules
you always told me i should care what other people think
i am proud to admit that i still don’t care—

because there is freedom in being me
that i cannot have by being part of the status quo,
you can have your rome i am smart enough to know they always fall.

i know there is a better world

the golden leaves
emblazen me with hope,
i believe in a future
whose wings will carry us
into a golden age
so we can put the darkness
of these times behind us;

prayed so hard and long
for things to get better
that i am hopeful that finally
i am getting what i wished for—

didn’t wake up with that
ominious feeling i did
four years ago after the election,
and so i refuse to succumb
to the collective anxiety of my fellow

i have to have hope
because without it—how do we live?

so i will dream and wish and pray,
and no one will ever take away my hope
because i know there is a better world
than the one we know.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). She has published three  full-length poetry collections: Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020), The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020), and Mythology of My Bones (Cyberwit, August 2020).

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