25 Pins in a packet women creators, Dispossession

A Saturday Woman Poet , Margaret Atwood.

The Chorus Line : A Rope-Jumping Rhyme

“we are the maids
the ones you killed
the ones you failed

we danced in air
our bare feet twitched
it was not fair

with every goddess, queen , and bitch
from there to here
you scratched your itch

we did much less
than what you did
you judged us bad

you had the spear
you had the word
at your command

we scrubbed the blood
of our dead
paramours from floors, from chairs

from stairs, from doors,
we knelt in water
while you stared

at our bare feet
it was not fair
you licked our fear

it gave you pleasure
you raised your hand
you watched us fall

we danced on air
the ones you failed
the ones you killed.”

Taken from The Penelopiad 2005, Canongate.

The maids were of course the young girls who helped Penelope spin her endless threads, the abused, raped and disenfranchised women of Odysseus’ court. Well they got hung in a line. Atwood is very good on mythos.

Chorus Line.