When did we start sketching shells onto mermaids
or force their hair forwards, long to cover their breasts?
Did we ask if the barnacles scratched at their skin
as they swam side by side, their mermen friends’ chests
still allowed to be touched by the water?
When did we start selling toddler bikini tops
for one year old daughters to cover child flesh?
When did we start drawing Eve with three fig leaves
as Venus de Milo waits, nervous she’s next?
When did we start causing women to stress
babies fed under adult modesty bibs?
When did we move from statues of mothers
spilling milk into fountains for paddling kids
into faulty comparisons to spitting and piss? ….
An Extract from my poem on Utopia, part of Bristol Festival of Ideas. It’s a cracking line up if you fancy coming hearing all the other poets’ takes on this topic! xxx