Monday, August 13, 2012

They Did Not Teach

They did not teach me
How to fight,
How to strike out
With both fists
Tightly curled,
How to fill them with
The rage only
Little girls possessed.

They did not teach me
How to fight,
How to scratch
With hands converted
Into claws,
Creating long scratch lines
On tender flesh.

They did not teach me
how to scream,
Tapping into all
The Amazons,
The Sirens,
Those warrior women who
Opened their souls
An emitted a howl
So fierce creatures
Of all sizes scurried away.

They did not teach me
How to push, shove,
Kick, fight
Strong hands that
Held on like vise grips,
Branding my skin,
Branding my body.

They did not teach me
To fight for my own virtue,
That this body is mine
And no man, woman
Or child shall ever
Defile it.

They did not teach them
That I, we, the young girls
With innocence and curiosity
Still in our eyes were to
Remain untouched,
Both physically and mentally.

Letting us hold on
To these like
A treasured teddy bear
Or a beloved blanket.
Letting us blossom
In our own time
And eating our apple
In our own time.

No, they did not teach me
But I will teach her and her
And him and them to fight,
To scratch,
To scream,
To shove, kick
And bite.

But most of all,
I will teach them
To respect themselves
And those with
Innocence and curiosity
Still in their eyes.

Submitted to dVerse Open Mike


Brian Miller said...

pinging my heart with this one...and sadly the case with far too many...i love that you want to teach them...they need it...they need to understand...

vivinfrance said...

More effective and less destructive, teach them to fight with words. I found this poem very disturbing. Beautifully written, but full of pain

Kiana said...

I too understand that sometimes we must teach our children to fight. Maybe you must go through that abuse to learn that. I've just started writing of my abuses and it's been very healing. Perhaps if I was taught to fight I may not have went through what I did. But alas I am stronger now for it.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing this in Poetry Pantry. It is a strong and effective poem with a good lesson. We all must be taught to use our inner strength and our physical strength if need be, but to respect others....and mostly to respect ourselves! Good stuff here.

jossina said...

yes , the poem is really very thoughtful. we must teach our children to be truthful unto themselves, to stand for themselves and their emotions.

Victoria said...

Ah, the painful reality of relationships that fade. But everyone we've known stays with us in one way or another. Effective use of repetition.