They Shut Me Up
They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me 'still' –
Emily Dickinson (1830-86)
Placed on stage for the entire world to see, you stand, waiting for your name to be called out. It never comes. You may stand on the stage, but you are shunned, pushed aside to become nothing but background. You belong behind the curtain, they say.
You spoke, no one bothered to listen. A child, no longer a child, but stripped of dignity , emotion and self-worth to become nothing but a shell, a shell that once before held life, but now has become a pretty trinket to be placed as a mantelpiece, put away and shoved in a little brown box, when all interest has wavered to belong to the past.
You may have tried your hardest. Nothing matters now.
You are a trophy child.
You speak, and innocence is revealed in al your thought, words, desires. Your imagination is boundless, restraints barred as you dream of other worlds, creations that upon proper cultivation may revolutionize the world as all others know it, see it, live it. Your mind is an ever-changing wonder; wit is your weapon, though you have no battlefield to fight upon. Punished for no sins of your own, locked in the gilded cage constructed by others. We will never know your thoughts. We will never be graced with your knowledge. We will forever be held captive by our own selfishness.
Your light dazzles, your body glows by some unknown force and we are left confused, dazed by something that is beyond our comprehension. What we cannot comprehend, we merely destroy. Our nature is not sympathetic. Understanding is essential for our survival. We do not understand you. You shall be demolished by the hand that has created you.
Once you have been seen, paraded around like a prized Arabian thoroughbred. Once all your accomplishments have been coveted by others and recognition taken away. Once you have given, toiled, sweated and blood then runs from your brow. Once you have sacrificed, for the success of others and the detriment of yourself. Then shall your will be broken, your mind locked away in the dark caverns of an endless eternity, stretched out by the ignorance of others.
They like you better like this. Quiet, where your ethereal beauty cannot be seen and your ground –breaking mindset, cannot be heard. Your home is now the welcoming darkness, a twisted comfort to your tortured soul. You are shunned, but still not understood. Understanding is not given, but the darkness accepts who you are. In this cramped place, the smell of pine wood radiating from this square box. You are apart of the world, belonging in your own niche.
You will rebel. No, not physically so, but mentally. Your body may be to frail and meek to fight back, but your mind is strong and resilient. You do not belong in this vainly created prison and with you, you carry the knowledge that you will escape, freedom is inevitable.
You do not smile for the world. Your smile cannot be seen, the radiance felt by the ones who have shunned. In the closet that has become your home and the boundaries built that now divide, you belong, you are vibrant, you are heard. ..
You are but a girl.