When You Are a Girl

By Amelia Van Driesche, Burlington, VT 
When you are a girl
The world wants so much from you.
                   The world tugs and pulls,
Making it hard.

Do I look too fat in this dress?
Does this skirt make me look short?
   Or is it not long enough?
              The dude who keeps looking my way
is the opposite of ok.

He makes my skin crawl
   when he looks at me like I am a chocolate bar.
Instead of a girl just trying to get through today.

   When you are a girl,
you have so much to prove,

you're not always fine just the way you are,
even if your mom loves you.

That does not mean the world will,
   that does not mean you don't look behind you when walking alone

and wish you knew combat skills.

    When you wished you had an older brother who pushed you,
or even a sister who showed you the ways of the world.

Maybe just a heart that did not beat fast,
before you realized all was well,

and it's just a squirrel running behind you. 

When you are a girl,

  every other day you feel like screaming.

Or maybe it's just me,
     who wants to scream at the world for all the things that don't make sense,
like why I have to be quiet,
or why the government won't change. 

Maybe it's because women are bloody terrifying.
But why 

    am I even feeling the need to scream,

and when you want to punch everyone that comes your way,

and when you want to prove yourself,
because you need to show the world
   everything they assume you don't know,
which is everything.