Strong Female Characters | Elementary School

Strong Female Characters

“look, we tried this time,
mainly because there was
this one already-established
actress we wanted to use
who’s easy to work with
never complains
always reliable
and the best part is that people
already flock to her
so all we need to do
is write some decent lines
and have her speak to other women
who we didn’t try as hard to write
so by comparison
she is strong”

Elementary School

We didn’t actually go to a fish hatchery when
we learned about them in elementary school,
but we sure watched videos of salmon or
trout or whatever they were bunching
together and taking that leap up the stream,
not down it, and slicing themselves into
pieces—molting?—the fish term for what
snakes do with their skin when they don’t
need it anymore, which didn’t sound as
disgusting then as it does now, pink innards
and eggs occupying the water together, the
new and the old somehow making people
enough money to send their kids to college,
unless fish hatching is a family business, in
which case who needs college to watch the
circle of life show itself in your backyard over
and over again, where fish guts and garbage
turn to gold?

CHRISTINE HOPKINS is a Haitian American writer and journalist living in Iowa. She is the editor-in-chief at OUT/CAST, a journal for queer Midwestern writing and art, and also writes about women's basketball at Swish Appeal. Her poetry and prose have appeared in shufPoetry, and/or, FIVE:2:ONE’s #thesideshow, IOLit, and more.

Twitter: @hoptine
Instagram: @hvisla
Facebook: @christinewriteswords