Forget the Cartoons

He’ll probably look just like me,
he’ll know how to smile and can probably make you laugh
and it’s easy passing pleasing drinks purchased already
where something simple as a pill can leave you caught to rot
from the inside out.
This is a letter to my nieces
and where words fall into pieces
I can only hope that I might say this right
and place some fear into the sights
that will one day be standing right infront of you, pretending they’re beside you.
I want to see pictures in your lockets
but knifes in your pockets
because the good and bad in people
is so much more extreme than we let on
because Disney tells you stories where it’s a man who saves you,
but believe me, you’re on your own,
because when it comes down to that moment of truth
you’re the only one who can save yourself
because there’s those who’ll climb on you
just to get off on the fear in your eyes
creating scars like stars becoming the only things you’ll see against the backdrop of nothing.
I want you to be carefree, but careful at the same time
and the only thing that frustrates me as much as knowing that he’s out there,
is that he probably looks just like me, because this is a tool he’ll use,
he’ll come with smiles, but leave you with tears.
Like Scar in the lion king,
or Jafar in Aladdin
the real versions of these men are out there
and like predators, they prey in the silence of comfortable situations.
But you come from a long line of heroines
From Eleanor of Aquitaine
who fought for these things again and again.
To your mothers and your sisters
who’ve covered their own blisters just to keep you, you.
If only for a little while longer.
Now I’m torn,
do I tell you these things that I know will prepare you,
or do I let you live in ignorance just so I don’t scare you,
because I’m scared that 1 in 4 is just a rounded-down estimation
and it’s only 1 in every 4 who comes forward
towards trying to make a sign that someone might see,
but we have a court of law, not justice, so noone listens to the pleas
in a legal system acting too busy
where the rules of law is like the Forrest through the trees
and only those with bruises you can see
are barely taken seriously
There are good men and there are bad men out there
and I’m caught on this fence, not only between them,
but between running away from this and towards you
because I’ve lived in fear and it’s unimaginable,
and I’ve been in love… and it’s awesome,
I want to teach you how love holds no bounds
and exactly where a mans arteries can be found.
I want to teach you so many things
but I don’t want to contradict myself,
Because before and after can never be the same
and a vacant look on your face would say more than I’m comfortable saying myself.
I want to teach you about Goldilocks and how locks can be picked
and how long hair might save you, or give the wrong person something to hang onto,
because the truth is you’ll never know for sure
until after the fact, or until it’s too late.
And truth be told
like the tools used to carve names into trees bark-bare
this is a man made fate for women everywhere
and these are the days when swords no longer come with shields
and like Andrea Gibson said
your bodies have been battlefields long before you were born.
you were born with scars that other women took to their graves
trying to save future generations from the same fate,
but there are still rainbows you can see and stars that will tell you stories.
I want to teach you about spaceships
and the space between endings and new beginnings
where knock-knock jokes can go on for days
and all the light in the world is only there for you to play.
I believe in unicorns and goblins, those monsters under the bridge and mutants in the alleyways
and from the spiders in our attics to the ghosts beneath our beds
I want to teach you what would scare the bravest men dead,
because one day someone will try to use you, or abuse you,
now I’m not trying to confuse you about the beauty in this world,
I just want to teach you something that you’ll use, something useful,
like a knife in your back pocket
for when that guy convinces you that you can trust him,
for when that guy get his hands on your drink knowing that the cops will never bust him.
Not everyone will enter your life for the right reasons
because not all of us are standing on our own two feet
and some of us will take from you just to not feel incomplete
and not everyone will smile because they’re trying to be nice
and not everyone will give without recognizing the price
so remember, your open heart and open mind have to meet you open eyes
because I’ve heard people say that which doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger,
but it doesn’t always work that way and that rule was made
by the same men who made the rule of thumb
and it was said without saying, not so thick it might brake you,
just thin enough it might cut you.
So with your eyes open let the shadows crash
falling back into the places posing personal pleasures
like feathers from the forms that once flew,
now ripped out and thrown to let fall,
you are the legacy that lets others be free
so live
and fly
and fear
and love
and hate
and trust
and overcome
and be.

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About Sean O'Gorman

Spoken Word poet from Ottawa. View all posts by Sean O'Gorman

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