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The Gladiatrix

Heather Soderquist

Birth me mother, please, in silence
For I’ll know no tranquil world.
Only then will life be peaceful
For I’m a rebel girl.

Wean me on green Devil’s Trumpet
Feed me stem and root and leaf
Only this mad apple can contain me;
Still my arms, my legs, my feet.

Let me live out loud.
Let me fly and fight; be free.
Our time here is just a trick,   
A short-lived mockery.

Until all of life has left me
I’ll tempt its very core
And when death dares invite me
I’ll raise my voice, implore,

“Kill me like a Roman,
Parade me through the town!
Then tear out all my entrails
And heave them to the ground!”

Bury me like an ancient Greek
Chambered in chiseled stone
Dug deep within a hillside
Where Artemis and I can be alone.

Don’t cry dear mother, it isn’t over.
For I’ve finally been unfurled
With heavy wings and sword beside me,
Immortal rebel girl.

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