See, I was born with these

Big

Beautiful

Wings

So bright, they could light a room on fire

So big, they could reach from wall to wall

So heavy, they pulled my shoulders back

My chest never falling, my eyes never down.

And these

Big

Beautiful

Wings

Were veiled in velveteen feathers

Washed in pastel

And soft to the touch

The very first time I felt

The sting of a snared feather,

And saw it in the hand of someone else

I realized the sharpness of the quill

That had been buried inside.

There was a time that my

Big

Beautiful

Wings

Were a lot lighter on my shoulders

Didn’t quite fill up the room

And the velveteen was matted

Around the spots that were bare

For far too long I believed

That my feathers were

Lost at the hands

Of my transgressors

That they were bronzed into trophies

That hung on their walls

But the barest patches

Of my

Big

Beautiful

Wings

Whisper my cruelest thoughts and

Bleed my ugliest words

The shrapnel of splintered quills

Scattered and dripping.

These days I keep my defenses inside

Where they belong

And my

Big

Beautiful

Wings

Have never looked better