You can take the bitterness, I’ll take the freedom

Poetry by linda m. crate  ♣ Art by Keith Landrum


you can take the bitterness, i’ll take the freedom

i’m the girl with

whimsy, nature, and dreams

sewn into her mind and


the kind-of girl whose wild and you

can’t cage,

but you tried to tame me

it’s true;

always i was too something for you

couldn’t wait for me to lose

my scars—

they say you don’t love her until you let her go

i suppose you’d know

because you broke the gilded cage;

at first i cried

we’ll call it stockholme syndrome,

but i realized that in freeing yourself you truly

were freeing me—

cracked through the glass of who i once was

rose from the ashes

burning a brighter flame than i ever had before

not so rabbit hearted anymore

i’ve become the warrior


wearing her battle scars with pride—

i am artemis crossed with


i prefer peace but i can be a war

can paint you in the same

pomegranates you

gave me

because you can keep the bitterness, i’ll take the freedom.


refuse to satisfy your need

you couldn’t restrain

me with you pain, your sadness,

or your rage;

couldn’t get me to conform

to your standards

of beauty

i once felt flawed and ugly

because of your betrayal

i know now

that you’re the ugly one—

you chained me

to yearning and longing and want

as you prowled the woods

looking for your next little red riding hood,

and i know you thought i wasn’t a threat

but you didn’t know this little

red carries a battle ax

i am a dwarf carrying all the flaming red stars

of rage and fury;

you want to see artemis in her prime

come at me again

the crows will feast on your innards,


because i refuse to be chained to your need.

lost Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.

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  1. What are the author’s thoughts on male possessiveness and his preoccupation with beauty? Why are men like that, and are all men like that? Why do women all too often submit or accept an inferior position, and allow emotional and physical abuse? Can women have possessive traits and high expectations the same way men do?

    • I think it’s good to be cherished and valued, but I do think that there are certain lines one should not cross. When one asks another to move across the country for them for example and cut off ties with their family and friends for their own benefit then I think there are some underlying issues there. This, of course, is just one example of an unhealthy relationship. Of course, not all men are like that and neither are all women. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just shades of gray. I think women, in general, are usually more accepting and forgiving of flaws as we perceive that we are flawed beings. We often put up with things we don’t deserve because of what we feel, but sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves of what we do deserve because some people aren’t worth our time or effort. Of course, women can have possessive traits and high expectations. It is not fair to demonize one gender as all humans can fail in one way or another and it’s all too easy to do in relationships especially when one party loves another more than the other one does. It’s what makes communication and boundaries both so very necessary.

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