One crisp afternoon
Mulan and her man
Went walking in town
When again it began

Once they walked out the door
She let Shang walk ahead
While she waited three steps
Then followed his tread

They walked around town
As her rage built on up
At chasing him round
Like a stupid, young pup

She was sick of this guise
That they showed to the world:
She played perfect wife
While her heart simply curled

She hated this game,
And it grew truly hard
For she knew she deserved
To be shown some regard

For she once was a hero,
She'd defeated a foe
That threatened all China
But you'd never know.

The way she was treated
Was not with respect
But with total indifference,
Disregard and neglect.

Her achievements were past
And now all that mattered
Was the gender she carried
And the rules that she shattered

There had once been a time
When rules were not vital
What mattered was them
Not culture or title

They once didn't walk
As culture defined
With the man in the front
And the woman behind

Instead they had walked
As a synchronized pair
No person in front
But of equal compare

But the taunts that they heard
It was if they had done
Some awful, foul deed
Like murder their son

It soon was oppressive
And their marriage was hard
For Shang felt his honor
Was ruined and marred

She knew that he loved
Her spirit and zest
But not out in public,
Where he preferred it repressed.

But as time went on by,
The fights became mean
And the words that they hurled
Could degrade and demean

The worst part of all
Was the silence that came
And stayed there for days
As they mutely threw blame

In order to find,
Some peace, they conferred
Then she gave in and agreed
To be seen and not heard

She went out in public
In the proper attire
And kept her head down
While her anger burned fire

She loved Shang, she did
But she was sick of this life
And she worried that he
Cared naught for his wife,

But cared more for standing,
The honor, esteem
And less for Mulan
And her goals and dreams.

As she watched him ahead,
Laughing hard with a friend
A fury built up
And she couldn't contend

She was done with pretending
She was happy and fine,
For she was upset and sad,
Dismayed and confined

But most, she was angry
At the world as a whole
For not letting her be
In any form of control

In control of her life,
Or marriage or self
And not let her choose
A path by herself.

As Shang just stood laughing,
She just shook her head
Then turned on her heel
And went off, no word said

She could no longer stand
As a facile lie
For she now had realized
That is this or goodbye

She then headed home
At a disheartened pace
For she once again felt
Like failed disgrace.

For she failed herself
Her goals and ambition
For a man and marriage
And societal submission.