Wings of Princesses

Every girl has a set of wings,

budding from her back.

Breaking from skin with interest and ideas.

Golden, silver, jeweled wings,

prepared to take flight in the world.

How do many women end up with bloody stumps?

With nothing where their wings should be?

The first feather plucked in preschool-

with “he’s just being a boy”.

Preschool “flirting” with fists.

 

“Be a lady.”

“That’s too much for a girl.”

“Look at your pretty face; too delicate for this.”

Each word a plucked feather,

each comment clips the wings.

It takes time.

Some only take a month of life, some take years.

A few, a brave few,

still wield glorious wings

but they are judged for it.

“She got there by manipulation.”

“She used her ‘feminine wiles’.”

“We all know how she got so far.”

For a woman to succeed,

she must think like a man,

she must act like a man,

and then she is accused as a woman.

Somehow a girl cannot be successful and gracious,

but she is to be both.

Impossible tasks, deceptively simple in appearance.

 

Those who pluck may not realize-

they tear wings with every word.

Casual, off hand,

ingrained in behavior from youth.

Then there are those who know,

and attack regardless.

Laugh at the jokes, catcall and cheer.

Worst of all are the pleasure seekers,

who see it as a game,

with men the hunter

and women the prey.

 

The world seems static,

with stumps and battered wings around.

But slowly, wings are coming out.

New wings, wings of freedom

bursting in showers of shining ideas.

Freedom is coming,

released by those who work to save young ones’ wings,

sometimes at the expense of their own.

And one day,

the women will soar

and the world will change for good.

Eyes of a Sociopath

Invisible Chains

The thing about invisible chains-

they can’t be seen.

You know they are there (those wearing them, that is)

but the world doesn’t.

 

Like the chains on the ghost of Jacob Marley,

they often grow as life goes on.

There are people who get a key at birth,

those born a certain way,

(male, white, upper middle to upper class)

usually avoid them altogether.

Other people,

(female, minority, low class, not straight, different)

aren’t so lucky.

The invisible bonds grow, thicken, increase in length.

Links added by circumstance, situation, other people.

 

The other thing about invisible chains-

if others can’t see, can’t feel them,

they refuse to believe.

Because why would it matter to them?

They never saw them,

they worked “just as hard”,

got twice as far.

People without invisible chains just don’t get it.

Lucky ducks- “ignorance is bliss” and all.

Ignorance adds to the chain, to the burden.

Helps push down more people.

 

Who is worse?

Those who are ignorant?

Or those who know already?

And then the ones who know that chains weigh you down.

Running is hard with all the extra weight,

so many chains.

 

And defense?

Protecting the weak?

Just watch the news.

Somehow invisible chains are a stigma,

even if they “aren’t there”.

Blaming the wearer of chains,

often for the actions of the free, as well as their own.

 

Invisible chains are everywhere.

People are trying to bring them into the light-

paint them to show their existence,

along with words, actions, and awareness.

Perhaps one day, someone will come with bolt cutters,

and at last the chains will litter the floor-

doing nothing, going nowhere-

but pipe dreams rarely come true.

If nothing else, a file in the hands of the chained

can work away at a few.

Life is Hard

My life is hard-

independent of commonly known,

regularly pitied hardship.

I have a house,

a job,

a car,

a school.

I have loving parents,

loving siblings,

supportive friends.

I’m smart,

intelligent,

somewhat athletic,

somewhat attractive.

On the outside, (like so many others)

I have a beautiful/perfect/wonderful life,

and yes, I have been blessed.

But my life is still hard.

I am living in my parents’ house,

all alone.

I work two part time jobs

and go to school full time.

I still run out of money.

My car is old-

the engine light is on,

but I don’t have the money to fix it.

My friends make fun of the rust.

I have anxiety, social.

Heart racing,

adrenaline flowing,

fear fresh in my eyes.

My hands shake-

especially when I worry about the future.

Grad school

GRE

Homework due

Clubs attended

Honors Thesis written

Money for food

Gas for car

Scholarships, grants, money for school

And that’s just now (now is almost overwhelming)

If we want to venture,

my past is hard as well.

Good parents, good life.

But my dad is a pastor and a Chaplin (I am proud of my dad)

Two tours overseas, countless days away.

I was twelve.

Diabetes attacked then too,

little twelve-year-old me.

It hurt, more than I realized.

We were always close to financial hardship,

(Pastors aren’t supposed to be rich)

We were hurt by people close to us.

So many things that pile,

bending my spine and twisting my legs

My life is hard.

I can say that.

Why? Because it was.

I can’t, shouldn’t compare my life to anyone else’s.

Because their life was hard too.

Anyone who says differently,

is likely telling a lie.

Life is hard.

And now I admit, my life is hard too.

Conversation With the World

Change.

What?

You must change.

Why?

You don’t fit. You don’t belong.

I don’t understand.

You are wrong.

What have I done?

You exist wrong. You do not fit. That is wrong.

I don’t see why.

You are different. You do not conform.

And why is that a problem?

Because you do not fit.

I don’t understand.

Do you not want to belong? Is that not important?

Not really.

You care. You must.

But I don’t.

You will care. You have to care.

Why?

Because you do not fit.

I don’t want to fit.

Preposterous. Everyone cares.

Not me.

You care. You lie when you say you do not.

No, I care about my place in the world.

Contradictory.

I want to find where I fit, not where I need to change.

Again, contradictory.

Not really.

Explain.

I want to fit somewhere, sure.

But I want to fit as me. Not someone else.

Inconsequential. You must conform to belong.

Nope.

You must change.

I don’t want to.

They are talking about you.

I know.

You do not seem happy.

They want me to conform.

Yes. You will be happy.

No, I will be different.

And more content.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

You are illogical.

I live with worlds in my mind,

with the ability to make lives in my imagination.

Why would I ever want to lose that?

I can move people, I can create.

Not everyone can.

I refuse to let that go.

You will suffer then.

So be it.

You will hurt.

Bring it on.

I will create. You can’t stop me.

You make no sense.

And you will never understand. But I will never change to suit you.

Skating

The skates wobbled on my feet

I was used to the flat blades

But these ones made my legs feel weak

I fell flat on my face sometime

I tried to join our tiny fleet

The skaters who try so hard

I jumped off of the bench to meet

The blades of my skates and match it with

The ice that slips beneath my feet

I skate hard and fast to make up for me

As I skate I feel the heat

The nerves tremble through my body

This is the team we want to beat

I’ll do everything I can to win

And if we do it will be so sweet

And I will feel useful at last