Was it my birth order? I was the first.
Or does she have contempt for edgy girls?
I know she loved us all, but I was cursed
with sexist expectations, given pearls
I never wanted, mocked for thoughtful aims,
told that as I grew I’d have to shift
from solo walks to her cosmetic games,
and ply her schemes, ignoring natural gift.
“I’d sooner die,” I didn’t say. The cuts
were nothing lethal and I’m not extreme.
I recognized her errors. I’d be nuts
to let them hold me back. I had a dream
I’d not abandon – to be hale at home,
and own the time and space to write this poem.