What do you do 

When you have a baby girl?

You look at her as an infant

And think to yourself:

“I am going to teach her how valuable she is,”

“I am going to tell her that she is capable of anything,”

“I am going to show her how to be strong.”

But there are no words to

determine her worth.

And there is no way to tell her

what she can accomplish.

And there is nothing you can do 

to show her power.

So you lead by example,

And hope that she sees

Because you don’t have the words.

But the world tells her 

what you cannot.

The world tells her 

what you would never:

She is not enough.

She is not as important.

She is too sensitive.

Too fat.

Too quiet.

Too dumb.

She watches you

Pinch at your tummy

And sigh at the scale.

She hears you

Cry when he leaves, 

Swear you’ve nothing left to live for.

She notices

The way you water yourself down,

Make yourself small,

Tame the fire that burns within you.

One day she comes home,

She grips her baby fat

And cries.

She gets a crush on a boy

And forgets herself.

She dumbs herself down,

Spruces herself up

And you no longer recognize 

The baby girl you held 

All those years ago.

What do you do

When you feel that you failed?

You look at the woman 

you raised,

And think to yourself:

“I never taught her how valuable she is,”

“I never told her she was capable of anything,”

“I never showed her

how to be strong.”


4 thoughts on “how to be strong

  1. This is heartbreaking. It makes me think of my mama and appreciate her all the more for the struggle she doubtless has but conceals. I’m going to give her a tight hug. Beautiful – thank you for sharing. x

    Liked by 1 person

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