SHE sits in the classroom, always raising her hand, even if SHE’s not sure of her answer.
SHE laughs with her friends by the rusty swing set, always something to say.
SHE feels powerful, strong with her ponytail and iron palms.
SHE could hold up the world.
SHE says, “I am SHE.”
“I am proud to be SHE.”
“I will always be SHE.”
Not everyone thinks so.
They kick her down.
Girls with words like stinging bees, pester at her skin.
Boys with fists like bricks rain down on her face.
They pull her down like wet asphalt, covered in rain.
Each step brings her deeper, closer to the earth.
“I hate this.”
she sits in the classroom, never raising her hand, never sure of the answer.
she no longer has friends to laugh with, and she never has anything to say.
she is not powerful. she has no iron palms.
Her mother, her teachers, they ask her,
“What happened to SHE?”
“SHE, who had no fear.”
“SHE, who always spoke up.”
she was stuck in the asphalt, knee deep in hate and sorrow.
The rain pelted her face, covered now in scars and blisters.
she was cold and tired and soaking wet.
“Please let me get out. Someone come and help me.”
she did not want to walk down this sidewalk anymore.
But no one came.
No one came to swat away the bees or clean away the bricks.
No one bandaged her wounds and blisters.
Finally, She understood.
She pulled herself out of the asphalt, swatting the bees and pushing the bricks out of her way.
She looked behind her, staring at the road.
Her footprints were ingrained, deeper and deeper in the asphalt.
She touched each one, moving until She stood once again at the beginning of the road.
But the footprints were still there.
Her once clear skin was covered in bee stings.
Her once perfect face was covered in scars and brick dust.
SHE walked down her perfect sidewalk, without stuck up rocks and imperfections.
she walked in wet asphalt, sinking deeper with every step.
What sidewalk will She walk down?
“I will never return to the beginning. I will never be SHE again.”
“But I will never be she again.”
“I am She.”
“I am powerful.”
I am strong.
I am myself.
I AM She.