Sonnet for a Woman

In China, we wrap cloth around our feet, Urging toes to take disturbing shapes.

Tighter for a place with the elite,

Not a cry of pain from us escapes.

Our tender, fragile bones are cracked and broken, Shackling us as prisoners of our home.

Destined to be quiet, meek, soft spoken, Waiting on a man who is free to roam.

Nowadays these bindings squeeze our waists.

We sip our low-fat shakes and nibble carrots.

Skin stretched tight to suit another's tastes Regardless of our other strength merits.

Will a woman's worth always be found

Within the fixed and rigid way she's bound?

This poem by Jane Brendlinger, a sophomore at Strath Haven High School, won the Edith Garlow Poetry Contest sponsored by Delaware County Community College.