i choose to be a riptide

by Regina Jade

I am told 
That because I am a woman
It is my job to yield.
I am to be smiling and cheerful,
I am to be soft and gentle.
I should be like water in the ocean:
Adaptable and constant,
Welcoming to all who wish to relax
And forget their troubles
After a long day’s hard work.

Never mind that the ocean is angry
When it roars during storms.
Never mind that the ocean is unmerciful 
When it swallows houses and beaches whole.
Never mind that the ocean is deceptive
When it lures the unsuspecting into dangerous riptides.

If I am to be the ocean, truly,
Then I choose to be a riptide.
Calm and smooth on the surface
And an inexorable force below
To drag down all who expect me to yield. 


Regina Jade is an Asian American writer and poet. She loves chocolate, custard tarts, and cats. In her spare time, she can be found trawling the depths of libraries for new books to add to the to-be-read pile, which never seems to get any smaller Her recent work appears in Eucalyptus & Rose Literary Magazine and A Coup of Owls, and is also featured in an anthology titled “Imaginary Creatures” from Carnation Books. She tweets from @thereginajade.