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"If I have a Daughter" | "What Wild Things Were" Poem (092320)

What Wild Things Were Poem (w Song Snipbits)

“Well ... I'm scared of forgetting how things used to be

Like the days we could lay down on grass that was green

And I miss how the winter once painted these streets

And the sound that the snow made under my feet” …

If I have a daughter, 

there are many things that I could tell her about survival. 

A whopping life of 23 years strung in the balance of trust,

and so many lessons with blessings that’ve come. 

I lay on the ground and wonder if she’d want to be a bird above?

With visions of flight in love...

I will teach her to tie her shoes, 

and hope she likes slip ons as an adult because laces are for those that always have time for breakfast, and I have yet to master mornings,

or how to move with two right feet, when dress up is too hard of a task to complete. 

If I have a daughter I will teach her fashion by giving her choice in fit.

I’ll remember back to the days when wardrobe felt heavy on war.

(When I would change to better fitting shirts that hugged my curves to swerve my parent’s POV)

Knowing damn well about the elephant in the room,

being way too large in love to be hiding behind closets. 

It was clumsy, and couldn’t hide how it processed the gendered conscious-

I wanted to be all of the options. 

True or False doesn’t really make sense in a test of honest.

Spectrums of constant change must exist between polar opposite. 

So I will hand her all of that process, bathe her in trust, tell her I will always love her 

regardless. 

. . . 

“And I still remember the turn of the leaves

And the first signs of blossom on our cherry trees

And I still hear rivers from old memories

I still stare at starlight, but only in dreams”

. . . 

If I have a daughter,

I will teach her to color. 

Smiling slightly whenever she draws outside the lines,

Knowing she won’t get the chance to do that much in real life.

Where people place us too often, in boxes, 

Funny how the living are locked in labels that fit us even smaller than coffins.

I am a·life (alive) & expansive. She-

is the depth of me, plus some.

I’ll smile at our mischief-

tell her to always place color wherever she sees it, 

& to never 

be-littled 

by lines.

If I have a daughter, I will teach her about hair.

I will grab her strands and call them roots,

So that no matter what her hair might label her truth to be from outside view, 

She will know each sulfur vein stemmed from strong moral and an ancestry of knowledge far beyond her length. 

I’ll frown a bit when I see her scrunchy armored wrist, & although I know

sometimes we have to tie our leaves to bond them closer into tree, 

I’ll pray she chooses to see the beauty in what it means to be unruly 

in our beings. 

I’ll teach her that her mane is proof of freedom.

We- all from wilderness, needing purpose and validity, (outside of vanity) 

She- animal of the Earth, hair ever-flowing in oil and history. 

She is handling the movement of precious cargo, right on her cabesita. 

Carry conviction in your crown & know 

someday you will love to learn its natured wild.

Let it- as we- stay..

ferocious. 

“Cause we broooookkee the home that we had

And there's noooo, no going back

To when things were alive

And blue could describe

The colour the sky was before it burned

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds…” 

{And we didn't have to wonder what wild things were, no

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds, of the birds

And we didn't have to wonder what wild things were…”}

If I have a daughter, I will teach her about racism. 

How some people will see her tree, differently than she.

& try to redefine her leaves, like last names, 

whenever things get too hard for them to pronunciate.

Bring her back to coloring, & show her why she can see absence as important, here too. 

We are all equal in view. 

Just hexes and hues.

If I have a daughter, I will teach her love. 

I will try to soften the blows in lessons of heartache  as she experiences what it means to share herself with an-other.

I’lll promise to cradle her tears the first time she comes home crashing, off a wave pooled from right memories with wrong prophets. 

& always leave cookies in the cabinet for when it starts to happen kind of often. 

Hope and pray that she finds footing in the process. 

Until I can guide her down a rose petalled road full of promise, 

And hand her to a lover who’s devoted to growing parallel to her progress. 

We’ll bask when love is eternal and the the knot is tied, 

I’ll see wings in the swirls of her eyes. 

“Well, if I have a daughter how will I ever tell her

The ghosts that came before her

Just broke the home that she has

Well, there's no, there's no going back.. 

To when things were alive

And blue could describe

The color the sky was before it burned

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds

And we didn't have to wonder what wild things were

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds

And we didn't have to wonder what wild things were, no, no, no

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds

We didn't have to wonder what wild things were.”

If I had a daughter,

I’ll tell her that life is no walk in the park,

And many days will include watered nights of tears that will trail right 

back towards messy mornings, with no time for colors or tying or shoes. 

Just a mess of creative chaos in an everlasting loop.

A searching and yearning for genuine truth. 

Between her wants and her warnings

Between vessel and label 

Label and boxes 

Blossom and boxed in. 

Between freedom and coffins. 

If I have a daughter, I’ll try to teach her all she needs to take flight,

Then I will tell her that she is so much more than they could ever see,

I will send her off to school, 

With slip on shoes, crayons, her favorite ripped jeans, and cookies to calm her fear. 

Crowned in coils and 

and a lunch bag full of morning heart and wild-erness love.  

I’ll remind her every day that she is art, 

Beautifully messy and unknown. 

But oh so real in its meaning. 

She is meaning. 

She is healing, 

She is love.

& if she’s a bird, I’m a bird. 

_______________________

To when things were alive

And blue could describe

The colour the sky was before it burned

When we still woke up to the sound of the birds…” 

“She's always gonna wonder, She's never gonna know

What wild things were, wild things were, what wild things were

What wild things, wild things were.”





Inspired through by "What Wild Things Were" by Rhys Lewis


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