Page 31 - October 2020
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                                           Kelle Grace Gaddis

             I used to think life inside the box was good. We had four walls, a sturdy floor, and a
             ceiling that, even though I bumped my head, it never rendered me unconscious.
             When younger, I kept my head down, worked hard, and expected to be rewarded.
             The older I got, the less I liked the box. It was a pain in the neck figuratively and
             metaphorically. By forty, I’d hit my head on its ceiling so many times I’d begun to
             stoop. Like the majority of older women inside the box my mother was permanently
             stooped. She said it was osteoporosis, but everyone knew it was the box.
             Early on I noticed there weren’t any female CEOs in the box. If a woman were set to
             rise to that level, they’d be cast out for talking too much, wearing a provocative

             suit, or for no reason at all. Whatever the cost, I wanted better for my daughter Lily
             and I.
             Men  talked  about  thinking  outside  the  box,  but  never  in  detail  when  we  women
             were present, quickly changing the topic to beard maintenance or sports. In time,
             we decided they no longer mattered to us. Equity for women is what fired us up.
             I held secret meetings with my female coworkers. We grew in number until it wasn’t
             just the women from the office but housewives, women who’d never stepped foot
             inside a corporation, were now thinking outside the box.

                                 Kelle  Grace  Gaddis  is  the  author  of  two  books  My  Myths  (Yellow
                                 Chair  Review)  and  When  I’m  Not  Myself  (Cyberwit).  She  was  a
                                 Tupelo  Press  30/30  Writer  in  2018,  and  a  4Culture  “Poetry  on  the
                                 Buses”  contest  winner  in  2015  and  2017.  Finalist  in  the  NYC  Flash
                                 Fiction Contest in 2019.
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