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  • Melissa

Stealer of Youth

Updated: Feb 20, 2022


Before I had a chance to let my fingerprints make a mark in the dust

You taught me never to leave a trace

Before I had a chance to let my footsteps crunch on the snow

You showed me how that will mar public property

Before I had a chance to fly a kite across the open field

You taught me to hunker down and hide

Before I had a chance to put flower wreaths in my hair

You angrily stomped my pickings with your sensible boots

Before I had chance to learn the steps of the dance

You kicked me in the shin so that I crumpled into a heap

Before I had a chance to build a castle in the sand

You drowned it in water, turning the shoreline to mud

Before I had a chance to make music

You nicked the delicate strings of my heart

Before I had a chance to turn my face to bask in the sun

You quickly drew the curtains, so I stayed inside

Before I had a chance to spread my wings

You clipped them in disgrace

Before I had a chance to choose my colors

You marred my canvas with a dribble of gray

Before I had a chance to be held and loved

You taught me I’m unlovable and that I need to stand on my own

Before I had a chance to learn that I have a place in the world

You showed me the deep, dark corner where I can spend my life


It was not your intention

But with malice to none

You stole my right to be a child.

My right to take up space in this world.

You simply didn’t know better.

You didn’t know that little girls thrive on things pink and soft and gentle.

Like big pink hearts, fluffy pillows and mothers that are huggable.

You didn’t know that you were killing an entire little world for this little girl.


You wouldn’t have wanted to do that.

You simply didn’t know that little girls need to sing

And dance

And dream

And talk about butterflies

And cotton candy

And ballet shoes

And tiaras

And yes, even be spoiled a bit.


You didn’t know that little girls need sugar and spice

And everything nice.

You didn’t realize that little girls need someone to bend down

To them, and look them in the eye

With a smile on their face

You didn’t realize that a little girl who never sees a smile

Forgets how to smile

You didn’t realize that a little girl

Can lose her voice

And also her will.


You also didn’t realize that silence can kill.

And that it keeps killing day in and day out.


You didn’t know.

And I didn’t know either that there is a different way of living.

That in the world out there, away from my dark corner

There are little girls who do get these things

That their birthright is to belong in this world

To be wanted.

I thought parents simply don’t really want their kids.

I didn’t realize that there are kids who are loved so fiercely that life makes sense to them.

I didn’t realize they grow up differently and that they have a purpose in life.

I didn’t realize that that was my right too.


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