Boxes

 

I’ve never fit well in boxes.

By boxes, of course I mean ideals

Cookie cutter molds that say everyone with this quality

or that quality

has to be the same.

Labels and names glued to me

as if I am a package waiting to be sold.

 

And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Because from the day we were born

Society built us pink and blue houses,

Constructing walls from the top down

with edges sharp like guillotines,

Not caring when some of us got caught in between.

Half in our pink and blue houses of security,

Half on the dead outside grass of “what are you doing?”

The grass of “boys don’t cry”

“girls can’t have short hair”

“man up”

“girls can’t play army”

And “boys don’t play with Barbies”

 

And we tried our best to find gaps through fences,

Loopholes of every kind

With spoons we dug tunnels of

“they’re called action figures”

We painted “I’m a tomboy “ on the walls of our pink houses.

 

We planted large gardens

Deep in forests where the leaves sometimes, just sometimes, shined purple.

We hid away as best we could,

And tended our gardens with quiet words unspoken.

We fertilized them with our art

our writing

our songs

With whatever little we could that would

Just for a moment

Allow us to run away from houses

Where the walls loomed like ghosts

and every football or doll

looked like demons that wanted to strangle us.

 

And sometimes we’d stomp out our flowers.

We’d tell ourselves that gardening was stupid,

That it was just something we had to get over,

That someday we'd be just like everyone else.

 

But no matter what we did,

The flowers always, always seemed to grow,

Watered by angry tears,

spilling over because we were always

too feminine for the guys, but too masculine for the girls

 

We spent our childhoods wanting to paint every damn house we saw purple.

We didn’t understand our separation,

Because why should I be defined by the extra flesh on my chest,

or him by the hair on his?

 

I'm tired of trying to fit in boxes.

I'm tired of hiding in forests.

Because why should I keep my garden secret

When it's flowers shine

With the most beautiful lilac color that I have ever seen?

 

And I will spend the rest of my life

Carrying a bucket of purple paint

Because my individuality is more important

Than your ability to define me.

 

I am more than your boxes.

I am me.

This poem is about: 
Me
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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