Daughters

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I will make it known
the clothing worn on her body
will be her choice
not mine

I will not reach out at her body as it changes
razor grasped in my hands
ready to sculpt and mold vulnerability
by telling her “shave, because that is what the other girls will be doing!”

Instead, I will tell her that the hair on her skin is like a garden
and it is to be grown however it is that she wishes
I am here only to provide you with the tools
which make you feel beautiful

I will tell her that numbers will never define your personhood
our names are composed of letters
not numbers
numbers are where we tend to go wrong

The number on the scale can weigh no worth
the percentage marked across your paper does not make you any less whole
your youth will never detract validity from your voice
there is no equation in math that teaches you how to love

I will tell her that those you love
should want to touch your heart more than any other part of you
there is more than one way to be naked with somebody
all are of equal importance

I will tell her that growing pains are not always physical 
health class gives no warning to how heavy a heart can feel
sinking in your chest making all else seem weightless
and as though solitarily you exist while all else gives way to the worlds weight

But gravity will still hold everything down
and I will hold you
letting a love pour out from me
that coats the way you look at the world 


Letting you see in a veneer
that will highlight all the places within the world
broken open to envelop you
with a love like that which is felt in a mother’s arms 

And open I always will keep them
even when life has left my body
and all my sleep is no longer in a queen sized bed
but beneath the earth

I will have left you my love in smiles from strangers
in days when sunshine is especially bright on you
in the constellations you may gaze upon with a daughter of your own
and in the way your arms around her feel warm, familiar, and infiniteI will make it known

the clothing worn on her body
will be her choice
not mine

I will not reach out at her body as it changes
razor grasped in my hands
ready to sculpt and mold vulnerability
by telling her “shave, because that is what the other girls will be doing!”

Instead, I will tell her that the hair on her skin is like a garden
and it is to be grown however it is that she wishes
I am here only to provide you with the tools
which make you feel beautiful

I will tell her that numbers will never define your personhood
our names are composed of letters
not numbers
numbers are where we tend to go wrong

The number on the scale can weigh no worth
the percentage marked across your paper does not make you any less whole
your youth will never detract validity from your voice
there is no equation in math that teaches you how to love

I will tell her that those you love
should want to touch your heart more than any other part of you
there is more than one way to be naked with somebody
all are of equal importance

I will tell her that growing pains are not always physical 
health class gives no warning to how heavy a heart can feel
sinking in your chest making all else seem weightless
and as though solitarily you exist while all else gives way to the worlds weight

But gravity will still hold everything down
and I will hold you
letting a love pour out from me
that coats the way you look at the world 


Letting you see in a veneer
that will highlight all the places within the world
broken open to envelop you
with a love like that which is felt in a mother’s arms 

And open I always will keep them
even when life has left my body
and all my sleep is no longer in a queen sized bed
but beneath the earth

I will have left you my love in smiles from strangers
in days when sunshine is especially bright on you
in the constellations you may gaze upon with a daughter of your own
and in the way your arms around her feel warm, familiar, and infiniteI will make it known

the clothing worn on her body
will be her choice
not mine

I will not reach out at her body as it changes
razor grasped in my hands
ready to sculpt and mold vulnerability
by telling her “shave, because that is what the other girls will be doing!”

Instead, I will tell her that the hair on her skin is like a garden
and it is to be grown however it is that she wishes
I am here only to provide you with the tools
which make you feel beautiful

I will tell her that numbers will never define your personhood
our names are composed of letters
not numbers
numbers are where we tend to go wrong

The number on the scale can weigh no worth
the percentage marked across your paper does not make you any less whole
your youth will never detract validity from your voice
there is no equation in math that teaches you how to love

I will tell her that those you love
should want to touch your heart more than any other part of you
there is more than one way to be naked with somebody
all are of equal importance

I will tell her that growing pains are not always physical 
health class gives no warning to how heavy a heart can feel
sinking in your chest making all else seem weightless
and as though solitarily you exist while all else gives way to the worlds weight

But gravity will still hold everything down
and I will hold you
letting a love pour out from me
that coats the way you look at the world 


Letting you see in a veneer
that will highlight all the places within the world
broken open to envelop you
with a love like that which is felt in a mother’s arms 

And open I always will keep them
even when life has left my body
and all my sleep is no longer in a queen sized bed
but beneath the earth

I will have left you my love in smiles from strangers
in days when sunshine is especially bright on you
in the constellations you may gaze upon with a daughter of your own
and in the way your arms around her feel warm, familiar, and infinite






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