For my daughter
You have constructed a box for yourself.
They whispered in your ear -
You will be safe there. Behind the veil,
Inside the box, the Others
Cannot judge you.
They cannot tell you what to do, who to be.
They cannot deny the box that you have
For you have climbed inside it.
Your light has dimmed, the shutters drawn.
Feverishly, you paint a life inside.
There are clues laid,
for some who are similarly
They may enter.
Their boxes look disturbingly like your own.
around these boxes.
Stretched, pulled, tightened, constrained.
In the name of freedom.
Of self actualisation.
You told me once that you were going to fly.
Could I help you?
There is a way to do it, Mum.
I have tried to build you steps
That spur you on, that hold you up
That lead you up,
So one day
You will flex, unfurl
and take flight.
My meagre steps are crumbling now,
But still I glimpse you
Striding towards them,
Now pounding the earth at pace
Leaping unfettered, two, three at a time,
Filling your lungs, stretching your sinews,
The box lies crushed like paper.
It never protected you at all.