A Letter to Esme | Teen Ink

A Letter to Esme

February 21, 2019
By Marysia PLATINUM, Halifax, Virginia
Marysia PLATINUM, Halifax, Virginia
33 articles 0 photos 12 comments

The world was on your side

When you were young and pretty

And small enough for them to handle

The world was on your side

When you were nothing

But a little girl, a dainty cherub to be marveled at

An ornament that smiled and waved

And never talked back


But the world left your side

When you grew tall, when you

Let your hair out of pigtails, when you

Learned that you could rearrange the order

Of polite society

With your voice alone

The world left your side

When they discovered that

Rather than staying small

When they constrained you, you

Grew until you burst out

Of the glass box which held you back and

Sprayed broken shards right back at them


You shall live the remainder of your life

As an outcast, your name

Shall become a whisper and a shake of a head

And a pitiful sigh

Those who once loved you shall

Look at you with judgment

And hatred in their eyes

Terrified of what you have become


For they have never heard

The lament of Medea

The protests of Iphis

The battle-cry of Cænis

They have never heard

The song of the sirens

The charm of Venus

The spells of Circe


Someday, perhaps

You shall be free

To be strong as you please, to

Unleash your rage, to

Sing your anthem

To the world

Without fear of judgment

But now, my dear

You must be content

With the world

As your enemy


The author's comments:

This is a letter to an imaginary recipient; I chose the name Esme because it sounded powerful. By "the world," I do not mean the Earth or society in general, but instead Esme's figurative "world," or her society and former support system that turned on her. I believe that there exist many societies like Esme's that are confused by the notion of a woman being strong and cannot seem to equate femininity with strength.


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