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

hating you

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.


Feature Image by Theodore Richards | Text originally featured on www.theodorericahrds.com