Poem For My Daughter


I would prefer you wear
preppy plaid skirts and sweet
button-up blouses with little
round collars; sensible
shoes to cushion your feet
and warm sweaters to drape
over your cool shoulders.

But you like snug
tee-shirts printed
in complicated designs, tiny
skirts worn over footless tights,
skinny jeans, some with rips,
wide belts; glittery
jewelry wrapped around your neck
and ballerina slippers

So thin and hard
they must hurt
your heels. Every day
you create yourself from a palette
of cotton, glitter, and strands
of plastic neon-colored hair
clipped on
and fingernail polish in every color.

I’m awed by your persistence
and your capacity for hurt
in pursuit of image.
To me you’d be beautiful
in any sort of clothes . . .
even wrapped in lengths of silk
even plain dark wool
even rags.

For all the daughters trying to fit in, trying to figure out who they are, trying to make a splash and just trying to get by; And for all the mothers trying to understand, trying to figure out who they are, trying to make a stand, and just trying to get by. Blessings to you all.

3 responses to “Poem For My Daughter

  1. I’ve learned to keep my opinion to myself- because if I like it- it can’t be cool:) Though Aidan looks good in anything. I’m often jealous ’cause I never looked that good even on my best days.

  2. I hear you! At this age I was so ugly!!

  3. I’m sometimes awed by the courage and strength my 10 year old shows as she asserts her individuality and style…often though, I cringe!

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