in the mirror


Abigail Josie

you saw a girl, timid and broken and lost,
afraid of the world. you saw fear, doubt.
and because you said I was so ruined,
i saw what i was told to see; i saw weakness,
i was a girl who needed you. you told me you
would make me a queen. you gave me a
crown made of glass and thorns.
but now, staring at my own reflection,
at my scarred and bleeding brow
tears welling and glistening in my eyes,
i’m seeing myself anew, set free from you.
Free from the iron grip of your expectations.
i am bare, battered, bruised, and scarred.
as i stare, i see waves of cherry and chocolate,
soft as finest silk. i see eyes of sapphire, emerald,
and gold. lips like cherries and velvet, stained
with your kiss, my skin fair as finest ivory and
flushed rose. i am tall and lean, built like my grandmother,
from elegance and fire, clever curves and sharp angles.
i am graceful and deadly, and i will bow to you no longer.
i see a queen, but not the queen you wanted.
strong and mighty in spirit and stature. i see arms
made for holding others close, for rocking children,
and healing the wounds of war. my voice was the gentle
light and peace you craved, i tried to sing your demons
to sleep. my spirit is one of radiant joy, laughter, and brilliance,
i cannot be dimmed or held down by you now.
with a mind sharp as iron and twice as deadly,
your ego will no longer silence my tongue.
i see a soul longing for flight, for dancing.
and i will soar, flying out of the cage you
called a palace, waltzing away from your grasp.
i see a heart stronger than rivers and seas
love like a tidal wave to kill and heal at once;
relentless, powerful, unstoppable, all-consuming.
i see an ever-growing smile capable of destroying
entire cities, a charm to topple rulers and empires.
darling, i could have built you Rome, but you wanted
Sparta. and now i will rule my own empire. because i
am not yours. i am not a girl. i need no savior. i am
a Daughter. a Sister. a Friend. a Lover and a Fighter.
i am the Forbidden Fruit. a Blessing you took for granted.
i am a Gift. i am a Force of Nature. A goddamn Queen.
i am no longer a girl. now, i am Woman.