when I have a daughter, I will shower her in poetry. I will present to her the most emotional writers I have ever read. I will educate her on modern poetry, the rights and the wrongs of it, how for some, it has morphed into more social media aesthetic than actual emotion, how there is more to it behind the stereotype and stigma. She will learn the art behind healing, the power of her own beauty, the weight of her own worth. She will read these poets and she will grow into and beyond herself. And because of that, I will not be showing her yours.
You write about brokenness like its a pretty lipstick color, like it brings out the color of her eyes. As if getting crushed is what will make her lovable to others. I will not let my daughter think that being broken, being small, being quiet, is the way to find somebody who will love you. I will not let her be convinced that crying in the shower and barely eating is the only path to the right person. I will not allow her to read about what types of women deserve respect and what she has to be to have value. I will not let her internalize competition against other women. She will learn that she is respectable and valuable because she exists. She will learn that being loud, angry and strong is okay. I was taught to be loud, and to never apologize for how my voice captures a crowd. I was given the courage to speak out about anything and everything wrong, and to never regret doing so. When my first heartbreak came barreling into me, my parents wiped my tears, held me, and hauled me back to my feet. I fell after that, again and again, but soon, I was able to get back up on my own. I used poetry as a crutch and limped my way back to wholeness. and it is because they did not let me bleed out. They trained me to be resilient.
so I will give that to my daughter. I will give her an earth-shattering voice. I will teach her that being too much for some people to handle is not a crime. That wanting to grab attention does not make her less worthy than those who seek to avoid it. She will grow up knowing that she is not more or less than any other woman, and that women are not to be her competitors or her enemies.