Tag Archives: women’s rights

Girl, Unwanted

They told me
at age four
that I could be whatever I wanted to be
and without knowing how to read
the fine print of that statement,
I believed them.

They asked me
at age ten
what my favourite colour was
and I was ashamed to say pink
so I filled my mouth with every colour of the rainbow
to sweeten the taste of my lie.

They told me
at age thirteen
that I should be grateful
men three times my age whistled at me from cars
like a dog –
it was a compliment
wearing a frightening mask.

They asked me
at age sixteen
on first dates:
are you a tomboy or a girly girl?
As if there wasn’t a million other in-between people
I could have been.

They asked me
at age nineteen
if I was “like other girls”
and I flipped my hair and told them proudly,
guiltily, as I betrayed my sisters,
that no, I was not.

They tell me now,
at age twenty-two,
that I can still be whatever I want to be,
but all I can do
is choke on my anger
and hope one day I never have to regurgitate that lie
to my daughters.

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