Never once shrunk from the choices they slammed into my face,
Never shed tear or plea when I was dragged at their crazed pace,
Never bore the mark of failure, beneath the mask of grace.
Always. I was woman, independent. Always, I was girl cast in iron and stone.
Always, I roamed free, defiant. And always, I roamed free, alone.
Sometimes I meet people who strip their skin and bare stories similar to mine,
and never once have I blinked in recognition of a scar or a mark or a line.
And it’s not shame, and it’s not fear- it’s something dungeon, something master
It’s something stuck in my chest, alien, captive of all the things I’ve chosen after.
I smashed the walls, I scaled the mountains- they told me there’d be sky
I rejected weakness, and bonfire confessions- the journey part that cries.
I swam through oceans, dry-eyed and wild, to reach heaven of the healed-
Drank all their potions, till I was no longer child, till I sported sword and shield.
But, still! They never told me that the sky can be so vast,
And we so small, with so much aching underneath our tongues.
I send you pigeon, with note and map, a hint for help at last-
Breathe into me, a will to weather, the last storm in my lungs.
I speak to no one in the nighttime, and still, the moon, he nods-
you see, exiled to space, he knows a bit, about beating the odds.