Thursday, January 13, 2011

the power of words

after a boy tells a girl she is ugly she will never be the same
even after he returns over thirty years later with solar powered flowered glass and a book on fairy gardens
and hints that he actually liked her back then

no matter how many times her radiant, adored mother tells her she is pretty
she may never fully realize it
believing that a mother's love is blind

no matter how many times men who love her say she is beautiful
she may never fully believe it
and she will hurt them as well as herself with her doubt

no matter how her body and face change with time and love and pain
she will always remember what that one boy said
and she will remain
that girl with braces and pimples and sad hair
or knock knees and funny glasses

she will forget that she has a beautiful singing voice
or can dance better than anyone her age
or enchant people from a stage
or she will work so hard to be the best poet and the nicest friend
and most perfect student--
hoping this will distract everyone from how she looks--
that she will have headaches and stomach aches and worry lines much too young

when she has beautiful, perfect daughters from her beautiful perfect body
and feeds them with milk from her enchanted breasts
she may forget for a few moments
proud of her accomplishment
but then she may remember again
the taunting words
and have to watch her own translucent, grace-filled girl
be called ugly by a thoughtless boy

this may go on and on
in a world where souls are less valued than hair and skin
until one day she holds her mother's dead body in her arms
and sees an exuberance of light
fly forth from the ravaged corpse
and she will finally understand
the true numinosity of the soul


  1. Powerful words describing a real problem in our world.
    If only we could live in a word where hurtful words were never said and true beauty was always recognized.

  2. This should be copied into books all over the world, graffitied onto big walls, carved into desks, printed on tshirts...everywhere, so that everyone can see it.

  3. absolutely beautiful...i felt your words deeply, thank you

  4. nail on the head hit perfectly summed in phrases

  5. thank you for this. it is horrible how we hold on to those phrases for decades. i have a few of those comments i have locked in the back of my head which rear their evil faces in moments when i think finally i have begun to accept the way i look. i wish we could all stop beating ourselves up about this stuff.

  6. There is nothing more beautiful than what is wild, true and free! Who are we without our surroundings?

  7. Wow...this is kinda what I needed to hear right now
    Thank you for this, it's beautiful!