Sofia Miller

United States

I love to write, read, and do basically anything artsy. Junior in high school, and I’m just trying to figure out the world through words, as much as I can.

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Any feedback is completely-entirely-enthusiastically-wholly-fully-thoroughly-utterly-100% appreciated, so throw it at me >:)

Dad, when will I grow up to be big and strong?

June 17, 2019

PROMPT: On Courage

14
In my generation,
the television celebrates brave women, sporty women,
women who pry the earth apart and run a marathon after,
Olympic women, bleeding gold like the gods of old, who don laurel crowns and stretch
toward the heavens.
When the sun is slitted in between your triumphs
and illuminates only some of us,
 
I will be here, sitting like a duck in your lake of a shadow,
attempting to fashion a crown out of wilted carnations,
staring at the hollow in my left shoulder
a souvenir from freshman winter when eating was less important than other things,
the skin pasted to bone like soaked shirts in a water balloon fight.
I will be here, feeling the part of myself more skeleton than life,
Did you think that you deserved to bleed gold?
I will be here, watching the television, age six when I pretend to not be scared by the action movie my father loves.
I will be here, rollerblading with the boys of my neighborhood in grade three because
girls have so much more drama.
I will be here, stuffing my dresses into crevices of my closet that will never see light,
never replacing them even when I grow out of my favorite, built from green embroidered cloth
because in elementary school,
my father tells his friends I am a tomboy,
and he says it with the glow of relief, like thank goodness frills and unicorns are behind her,
thank goodness she will be a strong woman.
I will be here, swallowing my fear and its smoke signals,
convexing inward onto myself
as I try to appear unfazed, face of glass as a spider crouches where it should not crouch.
I will be here, on the outside
face pressed against a window, wondering what it takes to be admitted inside,
wondering exactly when I lost my ticket, or if I ever had one at all.
 
And I will be here at age 16, too.
Finally learning to unfold the pieces of myself I’ve stuffed into crevices, holding their hand as they blink into the light again,
buying a skirt and wearing it too,
coloring with pastel pink, picking up the shreds of childhood rejected femininity from my bedroom floor and patching them into a dress,
donning a tube top and leaving the house without
a jacket to draw a curtain over my shoulders
because these things take time.
I will be here,
braiding flowers from the gardens of my grandmother and aunt on Midsummer’s,
dancing with a crown of carnations that belong on my head,
surrounded by the strongest women I know.
 
Thanks again for the prompt!

 

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3 Comments
  • PalmLeaf

    Thank you for this! I think these days girls aren’t told enough that it’s okay to act in “traditionally feminine” ways. It’s okay to be yourself, and femininity should be celebrated in all forms!


    over 1 year ago
  • Sofia Miller

    Exactly, Ruzah! I'm glad someone else connects to this like I do :)


    over 1 year ago
  • ruzahk

    I love this piece so much. It explores a sort of side effect of modern celebrations of strong women that isn't often considered. I definitely felt the same growing up that I couldn't act 'like a girl' if i expected to be taken seriously by the men in my life. In reality the problem was not that I should seek to act less feminine, but that they should take me seriously in spite of, or BECAUSE of my femininity.


    over 1 year ago