To Every Girl They Tried to Hold Back

An old man told a girl I knew that her dress was too short even though the fabric reached her knees

When my classmate rose her hand more than they liked, our peers would call her a know it all

Boys would cat call the girls wearing shorts and tank tops and mock the girls wearing anything else if it didn’t please them

She was told to shut up, she was told she was wrong, when her opinion held truths they couldn’t yet face

Over and over again we are told to shrink. They tell us to quiet our voices. To make ourselves as small as we possibly can because who wants to hear our opinions anyway –

Stand up.

Rise up.

Grow taller than the tallest mountain

Reach the clouds and when you do

Scream

Open your mouth and let every word you have kept suppressed tumble out and fall at the feet of all those who said you were too fragile

Too small

Too much of a girl

to do great things

 

-CM

Advertisements

A Short Story

I have built these walls around myself higher than any ladder

crafted towers on which to scout from, seeking out danger miles before it reaches my gates

this kingdom I created needs only my protection

I guard my every dream and wish with the sharp edge of my sword.

How I wish this story had a fairy tale ending

one in which the Prince rode in on his steed and saved the damsel but

I am not a damsel in distress and this warrior doesn’t need saving

this story doesn’t have a happy ending with hearts and red roses just one of

triumph and overcoming and

I will cut down every army that tries to defeat me

 

-CM

Every Girl

The girl sitting on the bench across from me at the mall has long black hair

her ears are plugged with the noise of music and she is silently nodding along

her lips moving ever so slightly to a sound only she can hear.

Across from her is a woman with curves wearing a crop top

and high rise jeans strutting with a confidence beyond her years

she knows she is beautiful and dares every wandering eye to challenge that.

I used to work with a girl with electric blue locks and tattoos along her arms

she spoke her mind and lived fearlessly even while

the shadows danced behind her eyes she never asked for permission to exist.

There was a girl in my school with braids down her back wearing

skirts that dropped to her feet her body always a secret

she kept to herself like a promise.

The smartest girl I know has blonde hair and wears bright red lipstick

on her mostly silent lips

when she speaks you always learn something new –

she is years younger than me.

The mirror shows a girl I will never see as the world does but

her blue eyes glisten and I know she means well when she leans close and whispers

‘you are enough’

I want her to scream those words so that every woman may hear her

you are enough

shouted from the roof tops of every building in every city

each girl sitting straight and standing tall

knowing her body is her body and her mind is her mind

and she is and always will be

enough.

 

– CM

 

No Different Than the Last

My body is a museum for your eyes to explore

and there was a time I thought you might open the doors

and walk down the hallway.

Turn on the lights and dust off the shelves

I thought you might stick around to see

the show

when strangers dress up and use my limbs

to dance around in bright colored dresses

each move a part of me I had concealed

from prying eyes that only wanted the free show

only wanted to see the way my body twists

hear the screams my throat can create

I thought you were different.

There is a shame in the way I opened myself

to you and only you

A shame in the way I trusted your words

trusted you when you told me you would not break the artifacts displayed here

Now I must board up my windows

close and lock the doors

throwing away the key

so that no man may tread through these pathways again

so that no man may dare try and break these precious things I guard

again.

You thought you had ruined me for good

but what you don’t know is

you never had that power.

 

-CM