by VJ Knutson

In the dreamtime
I encounter her
my big cat self

Exuding confidence
she unnerves me -
isn’t that what strength is:
vulnerability walking with courage?

Twenty-something me
whose ambition merited
three promotions
in as many months
rode her to an interview

Labelled too intimidating
I was stationed in a ring
with pit bulls - endured
daily harassment –
sweater too tight
skirt too high,
heels asking for it

She-lion knew
I had the heart
the brains
the wherewithal
to outrank them all

Yet poked and prodded
in this patriarchal game
she retreated amongst
stored boxes of youth, 

 I blame her, convinced
she needs to be caged
her nature destructive…
…but what is nature…

Instinct of a tiger
powerful, cunning
she is potential
awaiting triumph
This relationship
tenuous but enduring
erroneously ignored

Too intimidating! Nonsense!
I am power manifesting
in a world that can’t bear
to hear me roar.

Former educator, now grandmother extraordinaire, VJ Knutson reflects on life’s passages through words and images. Connect with VJ on social media at vjknutson.org, onewomansquest.org, on Twitter @Vjknutson or on Instagram @1womansquest.

Header Photo by Borna Bevanda on Unsplash

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