growing up a girl

Sometimes I catch myself deep in my mind Where my thoughts try to run wild Untamed Unashamed But I always try to hold it in It’s been 20 years of perfecting that talent Something I’m actually good at Both a gift and a curse You might ask me why? Why hold my tongue? What do I have to bottle up? Well you see, I grew up a girl. Growing up a girl means I’m confused Because when I developed faster than my classmates All the boys tried to hug me And I didn’t know why And my mom told me I had to wear bras Even though none of the other girls did Even though I wasn’t comfortable Growing up a girl means I’m annoyed Because when I was just in junior high Men rolled down their windows and shouted weird things at me When I would walk home from school And when I’d walk to the store or the park Since I was too young to drive Boys would honk at me from the street Growing up a girl means I’m an object Because boys would tell me they loved me And then ask to see my body And call me names when I said ‘no’ And my personality wasn’t important Because I was just lucky to even talk to them Although, never in public Growing up a girl means I’m damaged Because any boy that wants to date me is entitled to my body And to my innocence Even if I say ‘no’ And it’s easy to throw me up against a wall And tell me that I wanted it, too And girls would rather call me names than dare to believe my side Growing up a girl means I’m silent Because I still can’t bring myself to call it what it is Even when I tell my story with confidence I never want my family to know And some part of me still thinks I must’ve made it up That it wasn’t as bad as I remember That my words are too harsh because he’s not a bad guy Growing up a girl means I’m scared Because I have to run to my car at night With my pepper spray ready and my keys in my fist And lock my doors the second I’m in And every car that drives too slow means I’m dialing 911 just in case Or another trip around the block so I’m not being followed Back to my second floor apartment that still feels too low Growing up a girl means I’m tired Because every boy says they understand Or tells me that I have nothing to worry about And only some men are monsters And sometimes it’s all just in my head And sometimes it’s actually my fault Because I grew up a girl. -Daria