Don’t teach my daughters to fear.
Show them instead how to go into the wild places
the forests and deserts
the labyrinths of concrete, asphalt
the frost, flame, and famine of their own
Let them leave long blue hairs on lovers’ beds.
Let them carve paths in the mosaic cobblestones of foreign cities and drink too much beer in a smoky polyglot hubub.
Let them shorten their skirts, tattoo their breasts, and raise their voices in the throb of human music.
Let them dig with their minds, unearthing the truths buried in statistics.
Let them weave solutions of fact, fury, and compassion.
Let them fuck joyfully – when, how, who they choose.
Don’t tell them the fire burns.
Show them how to leap the flames, to sear doubt and a good steak.
Don’t tell them their petals char to dirt in the heat.
Show them steel is forged in the inferno and that eternal roses bloom from iron.
Don’t warn them the trees are high and the branches frail.
Let them climb above the birds, skin their knees, and learn to fall.
Don’t ask them to cross their ankles,
wash their hands,
tie their shoes,
shave their legs,
pretty their faces,
trim their waists.
Let them roll in the mud, eat too much cake, drink more than they should, curse and laugh from their curving bellies, and dance without grace.
Don’t ask them to leash themselves to your fears.
Show them instead how to go into the wild places.