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.

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