An Equal Place

We’re all trapped.

We’re trapped in the colours

of the blankets we’re wrapped in

when we’ve been born for barely an hour,

in the decorations of the gifts that are sent out -

in the blue ribbons and pink flowers.

We’re trapped in doll houses,

our identities run over by toy cars.

Some of us are trapped

in clothes that cover our bodies.

“This dress looks so good!

It is so me!

- but I can’t wear this -

it doesn’t reach my knees.”

Only some of us have been given

strict guidelines for decency -

because others of us,

everyone somehow seems to agree,

will do as they please.

We’re trapped in the expectations

people have of us.

I am best desired meek,

You, assertive, confident, and strong.

You should be good at sports,

Me, at arts and crafts,

perhaps capable of a graceful dance

or a melodious song.

I should be able to sew on a button,

you should know how to change a tyre.

While the sky should be your ambitious limit,

I should know the limits

to which I’m allowed to aspire.

You need rest, you can sleep a little more,

but I should awake with the sun’s first rays.

I should be a full-time mother,

and you can do your dad part on Sundays.

I should be able to cook,

and you should be able to earn —

none of these, predispositions that we’re born with,

but those that we must quickly learn.

We’re trapped in meaningless norms

from the day we’re born;

so many of us, not being ourselves,

spending our lives living a big huge lie.

We’re trapped,

and will remain so,

until the day we die —

Unless, the meek find the courage to speak,

and lest their voices alone be drowned,

are joined by the privileged and strong,

to say that this is wrong,

that things should and will be changed around,

until the world is less mask, more face,

more fair,less farce,

an equal place

for all of us

to be who we really are.

— -

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