Renée Szostek | Alumni

In Some Places
My poem, “In some places,” is a cinquain. A cinquain has a five-line structure where the first line has two syllables, the second line has four, the third line has six, the fourth line has eight, and the fifth line has two syllables. My poem was inspired by reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, and learning that in some places, including places of worship, but other locations as well, women are not permitted to speak in the presence of men. Kendi mentioned that his dad decided to visit the Nation of Islam with his girlfriend. While they were dining with a minister, Kendi’s dad’s girlfriend said something, and the minster slapped her, stating that women were not to speak in the presence of men. Kendi’s Dad jumped out of his chair and had to be restrained. I cannot understand why this restriction against women speaking exists anywhere.

In some places
are not allowed
to speak in the presence
of men. What are they afraid we
will say?