Caitlin Johnstone

The perpetual bewilderment of women

Your poem takes me to my childhood when my sister Beth and our cousin Debbie would pick the wildflowers from grandmother’s yard and plant them into a garden. My uncle (four years older) and I, referred to as Big Phil and Little Phil because together we were a single burst of energy, a whirling dervish, seized by a holy trinity of Loki. Lucifer and leaking testosterone, waited until they patted the dirt around the last flower and agreed the garden was done and then dropped from the trees, howling like apes, and stomped every petal into dust.

Every visit to grandmother’s the drama played over and over, ending with two younger girls suffering PTSD. Boys are born to taunt their sisters. Girls to mature into women.

The only lesson I have to offer? You can learn to be Lucy. You can learn to yank that football time and time again to punish us for being boys. But do you not, then, become a boy too?

Blossom, young girls. Bloom and embrace the sun. You want wash injustice from the world but, with wisdom you’ll see us coming and and prepare to run or break us. Train us to transition into men.

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