Based Blatantly on the prose poem, “If My Father Were to Ask” by S. C. Hahn
If another woman were to ask, “What’s a pole dancer?”
I would take the word “dance” and fling it far enough away
that I wouldn’t be tied to its connotations of grace and beauty.
I would replace it with a word like “explorer” or “learner”
or ditch the whole adjective-noun sequence all together and just say “poler.”
Two syllables to describe
the strength of my arms as I hang on their reliance
the muscles that tighten in my legs as I climb up and up
the slight swoop in my belly when I realize
I must make a sweaty-handed, power-drill-screechy descent back to the ground
I must always pay a small price for being up so high.
I would say that
the pole gives me an anchor
a place from which to spin out
a place to always come back to and recover.
Being a poler doesn’t make me sexier than you.
Or better in bed
or more willing to undress.
It doesn’t make me cheap or brave or slutty or badass
(if I am those things, I was them before)
It does make me feel free
and really,
that’s all you need to know.

2 thoughts on “If Another Woman Were to Ask

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