A Poem for my Nieces Part II, or, Things I Want My Nieces to Know

a poem for

Beginning with:

You can build yourself anew
For you
Anytime you want to.
You have the ability
To form yourself into
The person you see fit to be
Let yourself not be confined
By the boxes others have built for you
Or the “Hello, my name is…” labels
That have been slapped on you
Filled in with writing not your own.
Boxes are of limited imagination
And labels can be backwards peeled
You are for no one.
You are for you.
Build you in the image you see fit—
What any of the rest of us have to say about it
Doesn’t matter one lick.

And continuing with:

There is no rule against
Making a scene.
Your X’s and your ovaries do not make you
Naturally more timid
Or weak
Not to mention meek
Or naturally a victim.
You are not a mouse so
Be fierce.
They will try to shut you up
To bind you and to gag you with
Politeness at all costs
Or such notions of “proper” which
I think we can all agree are little more than myths—
But those who would be cruel and use you
Those who would try to reform you
Into something only for their own eyes
Have not earned you to be kind
And you do not belong to anyone.
You owe no one a single goddamn thing.
So be fierce.
You will be afraid
But fear is not your ruler
Be fierce.
You are your only

And concluding with:

You must never stop creating
Whatever it may be
Write a poem—a story
Paint or draw or sculpt
Just create.
Make music—play an instrument
But especially the drums
And crush it
Just so they know you can
But also love it
Build a building—design a space ship—
It doesn’t matter
As long as you create.
But also remember
You can create anywhere—anything
Those who would have you believe different
Have motives of their own.
Be wary.
And never forget, janitors are important, too.
Should you find yourself sweeping
Be proud
And may you also find yourself singing.

Post Script:

Your life is your own
To assign meaning to.
Assign your meaning well.


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