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Titulo

Sister Serena: A Poem


by Evan Seymour

Sister Serena,
I know how you feel.
They used to gawk at me too.
Paid their two schillings
to get a look at the Hottentot Venus.
Poked and prodded me
raped me with their eyes,
orbs that observed me with awe and contempt.

I was paraded around in a freak show.
They paid their three francs
to get a look at the Hottentot Venus.
Labeled my body unladylike
because of the size of my derriere.
They would later emulate my figure
with corset and bustle, and now with silicone implants.

Sister Serena,
I know how you feel.
I was called savage
and ugly
animal-like
grotesque,
but they still paid their two schillings
to come see me.



I am inspired when I watch you command the tennis court.
Marvel at your majestic physique,
admire your beauty –
your broad nose
and full lips.
You
are what Mama Maya referred to
as a
Phenomenal Woman.

Sister Serena,
I know how you feel.
They used to gawk at me too.
Paid their three francs to get a look at the Hottentot Venus.
Poked and prodded me
raped me with their eyes,
orbs that observed me with awe and contempt.
What they didn’t know is that they weren’t exempt
from a judgmental gaze.

I looked at their pale skin,
examined their hate-filled spirits,
decided they belonged in a freak show too,
for it was abnormal to view other human beings
as if they were animals in a zoo.

They say you have a mold-breaking, muscular frame.
When I died, they made a mold of my body
placed it in a museum,
displayed it alongside my genitals,
removed from my body after I died.
All of this done in the name of science, of course.
They would not let me rest in peace
even after my soul left my body.

Sister Serena,
I know how you feel.

Photo: Lev Radin / Shutterstock

Evan Seymour is a Southern California-based writer, poet and freelance journalist whose daytime job is in entertainment news. She is also a professional daydreamer.

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