Vox Populi

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Michael T. Young: What My Daughter Thinks of Herself

My daughter browses a book on puberty.

It tells her not to worry about her hips

getting big and how to watch her weight.

Even at eight she’s being told to shrink

her imagination to that of allure, to trust

in the power of her lips and lashes.

When she was five she said, “Most things

have doors.” So I warn her that some doors

crash down on you like gates to a cell,

imprison you your whole life. Already

she’s worried about eating too many chips

and learning how to blend concealer

brushing her cheekbones to hide a blemish,

to hide, to draw the shades while she sits

admiring a necklace. Locked in a room

of vanity mirrors and walk-in closets,

I see how keys to other doors are snatched

from her, keys that open doors to libraries

full of books that only she could write, open

to audiences waiting to hear insights

only she could utter, doors that open to skies

bursting like peonies, to fields where she

unfolds rather than closes, where she dances

her thin body through traceries of belief.

Copyright 2018 Michael T. Young



3 comments on “Michael T. Young: What My Daughter Thinks of Herself

  1. miketyoung
    July 26, 2018

    Thank you so very much, Phil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Philip F. Clark
    July 26, 2018

    This is so beautiful, poignant in its observations of young self-image and parental love. Just a wonderful, wonderful poem Michael. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Philip F. Clark
    July 26, 2018

    Absolutely beautiful, and filled with the poignant but honest ceremonies of young self-reflection; all watched by the tender, knowing eye of a father.

    Liked by 1 person

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