Dignified Opposition by Serena Agusto-Cox

That dark shadow you cast as you pull up to full height —
you’re no slouch now — just shields my eyes from radiant potential.
If only you’d beat your chest with your manicured fists
beside a man or woman whose nails are grimy, cracked
from clawing through the wall you won’t pay for.

Your broad shoulders wide but never able to release.
The tension freed in a sprung wing, lifts higher
than you’ll be.

You’re not that alpha leader a herd needs
because your strength is the air
expelled with each bellow
deflating you,
a spent balloon,

The stomp of your feet as I speak
doesn’t propel fear.
I don’t command respect.
I earn it.

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Serena M. Agusto-Cox, a Suffolk University graduate, writes more vigorously than she did in her college poetry seminars. Her day job continues to feed the starving artist, and her poems can be read in Beginnings Magazine, LYNX, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Harrow, Poems Niederngasse, Avocet, Pedestal Magazine, and other journals. An essay also appears in H.L. Hix’s Made Priceless, as does a Q&A on book marketing through blogs in Midge Raymond’s Everyday Book Marketing. She also runs the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and founded Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books.

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