Smile often my girl, they told her
Don’t you ever let the tears win
Lift your head up, baby girl
Don’t let them see how much you’ve been hurt
Wear your strength on your back
Don’t let them see how deep you’ve been cut
Wrap a bandage around that bleeding self esteem
Don’t let them see you break down
Force a smile if you must
Blind them all with your glittering white teeth and the shine from your eyes
Don’t let them see you cry
Never let them see you struggle.
From breastfeeding with one arm, while cooking with the other
Hurting deep inside and still bearing another
See you are a slave clothed in an angel’s clothing
Which makes you a beautiful angelic slave
Sent right from the clouds of heaven to up-under us
So you’ve got to be perfect
For this world.
So never let the tears win, they told her.
So she spread apart her thighs
Watched them take her chastity away
Each piece of her existence dripping out with the blood
That gave birth to her growth
She was only 3 But she didn’t cry
For she was reminded to never let the tears win.
Stay silent my child, they told her
A child isn’t one to speak before her elders
So keep your ideas in your head.
See they stabbed her generation
Dragged them through the mud of injustice
And drowned them all in the pool of inequality
Chained them with the shackles of child abuse
Threw them behind bars of malnutrition
Packaged their rights, and sent them straight to a bottomless pit of inequity.
But Mother Nature came to their rescue
Packaged all the dumped rights
Tied a bow around it and handed this over to them with a smile
Forced them back to their rich lands
Uplifted and fed their malnourished souls.
Nature taught her
The future is today, so they aren’t just children
She was more than the blade that sliced through her soul
More than the nights she starved to sleep
More than the long nights of watching over her dying child
More than the silence she was forced into, her voice lost
More than the dependence on man’s benevolence
More than the longing and the suffering
In the end, she understood she was more than just broken pieces.