2000, a new millennium.
my savvy board mentor
says where i’ve gone wrong
is paying myself no more
than anyone else.
i sit with that
running through my work
is it that simple?
i sit with that when i hire an actor who
for all his masks, can’t hide
that he chafes at a woman directing him
throws a tantrum, storms out.
i don’t follow.
when i get the phone message roaring
‘bitch, Biiitch! B-I-I-I-TCH!’
i make sure to ask all the men i know
about it, even my new beau, my future spouse.
this actor doesn’t know that.
when i ask him, his eyes skitter
and he puffs up his chest
‘could’ve been The Trickster,’ he says
tries to make that sound cool.
i’m not worried whether he’s cool
i’m wondering about the gal
who apologises for him to me
hoping i’ll understand, he’s her boyfriend
she has to stand by him.
i listen, don’t say anything in defense of
our friendship; nothing we hold
as women and colleagues
can touch the bright wonder
of their new flame.
her eyes too big under green knit cap
her long dark hair down, sleeves long
she hasn’t yet become
a feminist indigenous rapper.
we have to know what we’re worth.