September 29, 2021

The first time I know


there was this one time I was mowing my grandpa’s lawn
he tried to make me do dishes because I am a girl
but I hate the dishes
I’d rather mow the lawn so I trade jobs with my brother
He will do the dishes, I say and I walk out the side door through the garage to the mower
my grandpa hands me a green trucker’s hat to put on my head
so I do
but as soon as he leaves I take it off
I want to feel the sun on my face and hats make me sweat and you can’t feel the breeze
so I’m mowing the lawn while my brother does dishes because it’s 2000, not 1950 and I see a tiny snake slithering in the grass
I gasp from delight and probably also to catch my brave but I am not really afraid of snakes
if you grab them just right
they can’t bite
so I snatch up the slippery thing and run to my father because I want to show him how wild and brave his daughter is
look! I say and hold out my hand and he steps back and yells
get that thing away from me!
I catch my breath surprised because I thought this man was afraid of nothing
so I take the snake down to the creek and let him go
and this is the first time I know that I am stronger than my father

*uncaged daughter

breaking generational curses. healing poetry.