My Little Brown Girl | A Poem
by Theodore Richards
My little brown, beautiful girl
you do not see how cruel
the world can be
—I can see
this in your smile.
One day, they will try to tell you
that you are not good enough,
that your emotions cloud
the pure machine of Reason,
that you are not strong,
or good at math,
or fit to lead.
They will tell you
that what you are is not good enough,
your life, an exercise
in seeking their elusive approval.
You will probably know better than me
what to tell them.
But here is an idea:
Tell them that they may tear your heart out,
but they will only unleash the lion who lurks inside;
tell them that you may cry a torrent of tears,
but your tears are a raging tempest,
Bringing lightning and thunder;
tell them, little brown girl,
that their disapproval hurts you—
because it will—
but it defines them more than you;
tell them that you know
that the world spends so much time
because it fears your lioness roar
your thundercloud tears,
and that you are strong enough
to cry in this sad world
—to be brokenhearted—
without being broken.
Tell them, my little brown, beautiful girl,
that these long, sundrenched days
spent dancing to the rhythm
of the wisdom
that who you are
is already enough
is already enough.
But as the days grow short
and you come to know their fear,
you will tear open your heart for them,
because you will see
that this world needs
little girls who bring cries of thunder
and the courage of a lioness.