Writers block is a plague and I'm infected. Hi, I'm Araw. I'm seventeen and I call myself I writer.

Message to Readers

Okay, so I decided to start on a new collection of pieces called "Finishing School" loosely based on the setting of Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is a colonial finishing school. If you don't know, a finishing school, also called a charm school, is a place where young women are taught the ways of higher society and are trained to be desirable for marriage. Back in the day, they were pretty brutal place, so I chose them as a setting for these pieces, which centres on the institutionalized oppression of women during that time. This work is about a student of such a school, her love for another student, and how she views the things she is taught.

Educated // Finishing School

April 15, 2019


They say that I need to be educated
In dancing with men
Allowing them to sample the softness of my fingers
In the hopes that they ask for the whole hand in marriage
They say that I need to be educated
In the fact that perhaps my fingers are not enough
And these men almost twice my senior
Need more to review the goods they are about to buy
But I cannot bring myself to allow them the pieces of my skin
That they so desire during a waltz
I do not care that my life will one day float on their fortunes
None are as rich as her
She who does not require inspection of those she purchases
She who does not purchase at all
She instead gives
All of her heart and soul
And she nurtures sincere love
They say that I need to be educated
In how tight my corset needs to be laced
But I already know that it needs to be tight enough
To bend my ribs to breaking point
And force the air in my lungs to spill out of my mouth
All to look like an hourglass
With my sanity slipping downwards
Like the sands of time
It hurts
But it doesn’t hurt as much
When I know that the fingers that grasp my laces
Are hers
The gentle tiptoe of her fingertips on the small of my back
Mixes with the agonizing tension in my bones
To form a thick, impenetrable cloud
Of bittersweet numbness
I wouldn’t mind each and every lesson
If I was the only one who had to suffer
If I did not have to watch her move to the steps
Of predatory suitors with voracious eyes
If I did not need to help her into her own corset
And become complicit in the daily torture of her spine
But every day, our steps get more rigid
Our waists are squeezed tighter
And all I want is take it all from her
I would waltz and place myself in calloused, groping hands for hours at a time
If it meant she could dance for herself and only for herself
I would pull my corset lacing twice as tight
If it meant she would never have to wear one again
The world has condemned us
Not only to losing our autonomy
But to watching others battle the same beast
And all the while, our fight brings us closer together
We cement ourselves each other’s sides
Little did we know, no one ever wins
And thus we are doomed
Worse still, the people we love are doomed
She and I are no different


See History
  • April 15, 2019 - 6:27am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • weirdo

    amazing! you have a beautiful way with words!

    about 1 year ago
  • asteria

    you've left me breathless. "the world has condemned us / ... to watching others battle the same beast." and "the gentle tiptoe of her fingertips on the small of my back."

    i'm in love with the way you portray the narrator's desperate resolve to take all of the other girl's pain, so she can be free. the only thing the narrator wants more than her own freedom is the freedom of the other person she is forced to watch suffer. your wording is delicately agonizing, and i love it. i'll definitely be coming back for more :)

    about 1 year ago
  • Gabriel Goodwin

    Wow. Just wow. Strong words, and your poem made sense even more after reading your message to us readers.

    Thank you for this!

    about 1 year ago