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Golden Handcuffs to Paper Chains

The handcuffs crafted of gold get so tight this week my wrists are left with red marks and skin rubbed raw 

A discomfort distracting enough I keep my chin tucked down and gaze stuck on the chains

A discomfort distracting enough I forget my chin can tilt in the opposite direction offering me a new perspective 

Capitalism 1 

Freedom 0 

Patriarchy 1 

Intrinsic Worth 0 

So consumed by the stresses of a place I cannot fix, 

A place that doesn’t care for me in return, 

I don’t have the capacity to get excited for an upcoming vacation 

To a foreign place awaiting new experiences 

Can’t we all agree that half the fun of a vacation 

Is the anticipation for it? 

Can’t we all agree one of the few benefits of selling your soul to corporate America is that you can escape for a few days and still get a paycheck upon returning? 

I make a joke in a meeting that I need to make a paper chain

To get excited 

A countdown from childhood days of anticipation in my hands 

My coworker makes the great suggestion of writing in each piece of paper something to look forward to on the vacation

Instead of the classic pattern of “great idea! I’m going to do that!” and not actually doing it, 

I do it. 

I put the list to the side. 

I close the screen. 

I play some music. 

Pull out the markers. 

Grab the lined paper. 

(Note to self to buy fun craft paper) 

I cut the paper into strips. 

As the scissors cut across the page 

The tension in my shoulder loosens it’s white knuckled grip

As I write love notes to this trip 

The sinking in my stomach of anxiety

Shifts into a flutter of excitement in my chest 

As I link the strips of paper into each other 

I see I have been fooled by gold, 

When my real purpose 

Is in the paper 





A special treat for you if you made it this far. Below is a song by the amazing Miss Mack Moon, singing about the complicated chokehold that is Capitalism.


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