The Playing Field

When I was a little girl…
I was always warned
with harsh words,
threatening fingers,
and looks to kill

about how to breathe, act, think, speak,
run, walk, read, write, spell, sit, stand
(and the list goes on and on)

and then when I became
a thunderous teenager…
I was told that I probably
wouldn’t amount to anything;
that by the time I turned a certain age,
I would have a certain number of kids
living a stale life on welfare

and now that I am a consenting adult…
I am still being coerced about
decisions I’ve made, should’ve made,
need to make, etc;
about how my life could’ve turned out differently
and blah, blah, blah