Poem…To My Daughter

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Poem…To My Daughter

By Anselm Alita

I will teach her
That holding back tears when she ought to have cried
Doesn’t mean bravery or make her a strong woman
For many cries not for weakness
But because they have been strong for too long

I will teach her the beauty of hands
That it’s meant to hold other hands
That it’s good to hold hands, but not all should be held
I will teach her that her hands are like nectarine
That could be easily bruised when held by the wrong hands

I will teach her the beauty of names
And the flavor it adds to life
But she should never abandon her name
For sobriquets, she would consider fashionable
But to let her name make her fashionable

I will teach her about the beauty of boys
They are humans, though of a different kind
She will hear hate speeches that all boys are the same
Perhaps not take their hands of friendship that may come her way
I will teach her that all boys are humans
But different individuals the same as girls

And maybe she would one day come to learn
That boys are the best friend a girl can have
I will teach her how false the shibboleths
That make wave in each generation are
That it’s the duty of the man to provide always even in reds.
I will teach her that men aren’t banks
And that fingers are never equal
No matter how many times we shake off their cramps to straighten them up.

I will teach her the beauty of looking good
And how admirable it is to catch people’s eye
But she should learn that her body isn’t a canvass where color test is run
Else her prim vigor is etiolated
I will teach her the beauty of smiles
That smile doesn’t mean being cheap or unladylike or unserious
But should always lubricate her face

I will teach her the beauty of the body
That it’s not a free gift or souvenir
To be given to every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the name of love,
Or as a proof of love or out of pity
For it is never a commodity
But she should guard it jealously
And be given only to that special person who will value it
And understand the gift of her body when the time is right

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