Vote. Voice. Victory.

by Angelique Cridland

She was petit and clothed
in white
innocently guilty for sovereignty,
trudging through “mud, mud, mud”
she says.
Bracing her rounded shoulders, ready
to incite
the veil before gendered eyes;
cause to suppress.
Vote. Veto. Veil.

Voluntary arranging my camera stand
on involuntary ground
and then the sound:
horses trotting to the rhythm of
police anxiety;
feet scuffling to the march of
suffragists notoriety;
crowds gathering as I look up
around the region;
my camera pointing to shoot
the individuality
of freedom.
Vote. Versus. Verify.

Pretty eyes, eyes
fiercely gleaming
like the medal on her chest –
clinking
like the spoon pushed against
her teeth.
Long hair bound, bound
as her hands
against her many demands for
Vote. Virtue. Verge.

The cold creeping up my sleeves,
my hands seizing the camera,
it capturing their faces,
apprehended bodies, fingers, feet
clawing through
drawing room and kitchen,
thronging to
the pages still unwritten.
The pages of these women.
Frozen in time,
marching against their paradigm;
frozen in my mirror,
marching against the odds of history,
to the future: a clearer
Vote. Voice. Victory.