Big Girls Cry

October 16, 2009
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Big girls cry.
That’s not the way they tell it to you,
When you’re nestled on their knee.
Your eyes are bright and curious,
And there’s something behind their smile
That you aren’t quite old enough yet to understand.
You are a doll made out of glass,
Naivety braided into your hair,
Resting in your dimples,
When they tell you that the world isn’t easy,
Expect you to graciously comprehend
That life just isn’t fair.

And they shelter you when you’re tiny,
Because your ankles are mere inches across and your hands
Can’t protect or fight back at all just yet
And your smile is unbridled,
Not stained by experience, or taught to hide.
You toddle around and they’re enraptured,
The wrinkles around their eyes deepening
As they absorb all the energy
You miraculously have to spare.

And when you sleep they love you extra,
Because you are innocent, beautiful, and kind.
Even more than all these things though
They expect you to grow out of it eventually.
They picture your eyes marked with liner
And your words covered in gloss
Your fingers tipped with colors
As you morph out of who you were.

That’s so different from the way it is –
That’s not how it is at all.
We change because each passing day
Each moment, each year, each story forming
On the quickly growing hands
Of that baby from your lap,
All form a new shell around us
To encase us from our next pain
From our next let down,
Because of our last mistake.

Each shell is still so permeable
The same hearts still in our chests
the same name’s attached to every folly
the same life is the prologue to each action
that one can ever make.

Big girls cry.
Big girls become so full with the pain of their lives
That it forces fissures through the shells
And comes pouring out through the very same eyes
That once looked up with ignorant adoration
That once waited for the world to happen
That immediately resented it when it did.

Big girls cry
And lie, and scream, and hurt
And want to sit on your knee.
They break and fall and tumble and wonder
If this is what you were talking about
When you said
You’ll grow up some day
When you said
Life just isn’t fair
When you said
It’ll all get better eventually.

They don’t tell you all the bad things
They don’t explain how hard it will be.
They tell you that you can’t change things
That some parts of life are inescapable
And they tell you vaguely it’s not always easy
And they ponder their own shortcomings
As they tell you to try your hardest
Even if your hardest isn’t the best.
They tell you not everyone will accept you
They tell you things won’t always stay the same
But they don’t tell you how out of your hands it is
They don’t tell you that big girls cry.

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AlwaysDanceInTheRain said...
Sept. 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm
This is beautiful! You really captured the purity and innocence of children as well as the pain of growing up! Five stars! Its amazing!
Sylvie said...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm
This is a really good and meaningful poem. =) It really captured how young and pure children are when they're not exposed to the cruel world outside. Great job, I really love this poem!
dbehr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm
thank you !
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