Jo or Amy? Reflections in Poetry

Jo or Amy?

I could always relate to Jo

writing because her voice was feminine and therefore

largely silenced.

Selling her words

and even her hair

because the thrill of immediate practical gain

was far more worthy to her than her “one true beauty”.

Amy however–

she understood art.

both as a creative

and of the harsh truth

that she was herself a piece of art

for anyone of status and culture

who desired to size her up.

Sketch and canvas, travel to Paris, wearing fine clothes

and the weight of responsibility, too.

Maybe Jo rejected Laurie because she did not love him

or maybe Jo could not bear

to view Laurie

as a sound economic decision

when her heart yearned for passion

and knew that it was absent.

Amy was judged as shallow,

petulant and vain.

Audacious, even.

Yet only let it sharpen her shrewdness

and further

her ambitions that much more.

Jo openly rejected the submission of femininity

yet Amy covertly did just the same.

Both women were ambitious in their own way

and neither was willing

to settle.

When I was little, I saw entirely too much of myself in Amy

and I didn’t like it.

As an adult, I saw myself in Jo

proud of swimming upstream

reveling in righteous struggles.

Now, tho, I recognize how similar they really are.

There’s no shame in wanting what you want.

What if

ease and effortlessness were not so maligned

or bad for wanting?

What if we all gave ourselves permission

to fully and indulgently want things

sans struggle?


inspired by the desire to sit in a Parisian garden with a sketchpad or canvas, and also this article. 

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