Who is that Girl?

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I am supposed to be a lot of things
I should be pretty, skinny, weak
I look at myself
and I don’t see that girl
I turn to those admired by others,
for support
They teach me how to walk, talk, get that one boy’s attention instead of her’s
“A quiet girl is a happy girl” a whisper snakes into my ear
“An obedient girl is a popular girl”

I wipe off my painted face in search for a better answer
I find the sounds, the songs
They teach me to be part of the crowd or rebel against society
They sing into my ears words of destruction
I listen to my heart,
I don’t hear that girl

I stumble along and find myself surrounded again
They shout and cheer;
I am pushed to be the fastest, the strongest
“Obedience is key” they chant
“Obedience is first place”
I cannot catch up to that girl
My raw lungs and aching legs drag themselves from that world and again
I am lost

Surrounded by the hands pulling me, twisting and turning
Ripping and tearing at my life my identity; I see a woman
She stands above me with her outstretched hand, offering refuge
But I realize too late that again, I have been deceived
I am ripped through the this new world
Drowning in these familiar commands; these same instructions, same requirements
Only belonging to new voices

I should be proud of my body, but not if others don’t have it
I should proud of my accomplishments, but not if others aren’t included
I should stand up and shout
I should rebel against the standards of women, no matter my opinion
I am worse than the others, I am told
If I’m not obedient to their rules I am to be thrown to the curb
They remold my mind, shatter my body
My neck is broken as they throw me through that glass ceiling
I am forced into the fight
Drafted in a war I do not understand

I scream my voice ragged and raw
Ripping away from the standards, the voices
The obedience

I pull myself away and look at her
I look at the girl I am supposed to be
She is bruised, bloodied
Hanging from strings coming from every direction

She is a stranger to me
I am not that girl, I see that now
But I don’t recognize the form in front of me
Who is that girl?






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