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 talk about butterflies
And cotton candy
And ballet shoes
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.