They rarely think about us.
Balancing books braced over our backs, but what they lack in understanding is that these treasure troves of theory and thought sometimes feel like anvils. At last, Atlas shares his burden.
We carry the world on our shoulders. Holding up the lands of our mothers that have been stripped bare, and we are painfully too aware of our country built on those ruins. I’d say we were the chosen ones. That this was a destiny the gods bestowed and now we owed the heavens for this opportunity to be heroes. I mean, I have always wanted to fly.
But our radioactive spiders and Gamma rays took the form of days spent wishing that it all bounced off our steel chests, but instead we were made to feel. And somehow we are faulted for emotion, the ocean that rises when each of us sympathizes with someone else.
We take up the mantle anyway. Refusing capes and unwilling to fake who we really are.
We learned early that the world does not provide balm for the scars that it leaves. We protect culture and carry it in our speech and dress, the double takes and long glances fueling confident gaits and high-held heads.
We are champions of the voiceless, in armor of ethically sourced, sweat-free steel. We fight with swords, spears, standards, smear-proof lipstick in one hand and a cup of Caribou in the other. We are gritty and soft and beauty and brawn and sometimes we’re just straight up tired.
Sometimes it can feel like too much. The struggle to keep up with the rush can be such a drain. We have it ingrained in us to continue the race because the finish line moves further away each day. It’d be easier to sit down and accept, but we hold each other, embolden each other, leading the charge on the days when one of us simply can’t. We return the favor and with this love and fervor, our hearts beat all who oppose and oppress. And that is the best reward.
Mariam Bagadion is a second year student at SCSU double majoring in Women’s Studies and English. She has a passion for writing and social justice and thinks the coolest thing in the world is when the two can be combined. In her free time, she writes fiction, watches Netflix, and plays one of the three songs she knows on the ukulele.