In Defence of Karen

She won’t wear a mask today,

Even though the numbers are up.

Karen has already survived worse,

The death of her sister,

Three miscarriages,

Glass ceilings.

She was once fired for getting pregnant.

Her husband raped her,

But it wasn’t called that back then.

Last week she was served mouldy toast,

When she asked for the manager

Two teenage servers snickered behind the coffee machine.

She’s seen the memes.

She remembers a time when books mattered.

She was valedictorian

but it made no difference,

The job she wanted went to the boss’ son.

Sometimes she takes up two seats on the train,

To make up for the times

Mark and Simon and Greg spoke over her in meetings,

or told her she should smile more.

Sometimes she gets so angry

That her voice crackles and her skin burns,

But society deems her too old for rage,

A commodity belonging to the young,

To be bought and sold as angsty songs, piercings, rebellion,

and Tiktoks about gender pronouns and their “authentic self”.

So today she’s traded in the safety of a mask

For the freedom to exhale

a lifetime of being gagged.

Published by sarcasticfringehead

I'm an adult survivor of child abuse who documents therapy; a yellow brick road to hell.

10 thoughts on “In Defence of Karen

  1. This is brilliant! The ending is superb. You totally get inside this poor woman’s psyche. I want to give her a hug. Stupid plan in Covid, I know. But still, she deserves some empathy. I love this poem for its compassion and insight.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love this poem so much! The cliche is so overused, and yet you gave her a story and humanity. And you also exposed the double-standard. We don’t mind rage from the young, but rage from the middle age (who perhaps didn’t get the chance when they were young) is an insulting meme.

    Liked by 2 people

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