I watch my daughter grow. She finds the patriarchy’s walls,
once comforting and so secure, now quickly closing in;
and the consumer culture, bred in bright and shiny malls,
begins to question her reluctance to wallow in sin.
The icons, once so well preserved, expose their peeling paint,
and what chivalry she sought and took for granted
has now begun its slow campaign to try her as a saint;
rock solid faith by doubt has been supplanted.
She still retains naivete: that goodness will be found
behind even a callous smile, despite a hurtful word;
and yet behind her youth’s bravado, a glimpse of profound
and growing disillusion a keen eye may now observe.
So soon she plans to leave this place of shelter,
not knowing much, if anything, about the world outside.
Like Icarus, despite a father’s warning it will melt her
wings, she thinks it bravery, instead of suicide.
How much the world remains a swirl of danger,
her magazines don’t dare to publicize.
Instead, they speak inanities and fashion,
and only growing old they criticize.
My daughter. What this world of men empowered
will teach her, if she has the strength to learn,
is sadly, you are valued ’til deflowered,
and then, if you’re not careful, you get burned.
But still, to claim your self is worth the struggle;
to know, to dare, and keep a silent tongue.
It must be so, for in this world of Muggles,
what secrets are worth keeping, keep you young.
14 FEB 2005