Us and Them By Mary Schroth

Us and Them

I live in a society that has taught me
to be uncomfortable with my own relationship.
I am happy with myself,
so life-changingly happy with her,
and yet there is a small cement block
inside me, a damnation implanted here
within this body that I have not yet
figured out how to remove, eternally
weighing down my spirit with its
insistent reminders of ostracized pain.

I live in a society that has taught me
to be afraid. To fear something as gentle
as holding her hand—always willing to
offer its generous warmth to mine,
constantly lacking its own heat—in a place
where passersby might see.
My own experience has shown me
that I should be scared, because I can not
take a fifteen minute walk at the park on a
beautiful August day with her hand in mine
unless I want to be verbally harassed
not once, but twice, by men who’d
“kill to get in the middle of that.”

I live in a society that has taught me
that I am only a feminist because I
fall asleep each night beside another
pair of breasts instead of a smooth flat chest.
I’ve been taught that it is more important
to love someone for their genitals
than to love them for their soul.
I live in a society of disgusted looks,
and I exist in a world where the extent
of my happiness won’t ever measure up
to the security of “him and her.”

By Mary Schroth


Mary Schroth is a twenty-year-old lover of literature, drinker of coffee, and advocate of all things feminist. She is a student at Worcester State University pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in Women’s Studies. She is a proud member of the LGBTQ community. Her work has appeared in the Somerville Times and the New Worcester Spy, and she is currently working on a full-length poetry collection.


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