I know a forceful personality,
who might have made a most impressive man,
but culture deemed her shrill, and family
was sore the more she nonconformed to plan.
They said she was a strident know-it-all,
(who loved to learn and talked to get response).
Her mother shushed her, trying to forestall
the fits, who never mastered nonchalance.

Two weeks ago amid the pain, she said
“They think I’m tough. They only see my shell,
but inside I’m as soft as mush instead.
Don’t you agree? I think you know me well.”
And so we stopped to sense what she forgot.
We laughed together then. For who is not?

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