Oh, you’ve got your hands full with this one.
And look, she’s already screaming!
That voice had better learn to whisper-
there is no need for a woman to be heard.
Teach her how to write
And spell out words like family,
Teach her about her body-
Whisper what a bra is and how to
hide cramps and pads from her brothers.
Soon, she’ll learn to hide behind Advil
And pretty smiles, bulletproof.
Tell her to eat but not too much.
Speak but not too much.
Think but not too much.
(Be, but not too much.)
Teach her to respect her body like a temple-
Adorned with jasmine and fragrance.
A holy shrine for her husband to
Pillage and plunder.
Expect her to know how to cook
And clean and dust and host
And still bring home report cards bursting
With As and praise.
Tell her, wit and brains and a college degree
They’re all good, yes.
But a woman is only truly a woman when
She has a home and a husband
And has given him sons
(daughters too, but sons more).
I hope you’re prepared for her milestones
And have already stocked up on gold.
Gold for when she becomes a woman,
And gold for when she becomes another’s
And gold for when she becomes a mother.
Bring her up to hide.
Sew pockets within the folds of her mind,
One for pain
(and there will be pain)
One for loneliness
(she’ll do this on her own)
One for desires
(of heart and mind)
And one for joy.
Teach her how to look past men reaching for her
With hands to hit and to caress
With eyes that ravage
And mouths that compliment with slander.
Remind her that boys will be boys.
It is on her to not draw their attention.
Auction her now,
At the ripe age of nineteen
(we don’t need her wasting away)
To men twice her age and twice her size.
Tell her, she’s completing her faith
And carve a smile onto her face.
And when all is done,
You’ll have the blessing much spoken of
And a daughter to open doors for you.