i pray that you are a boy.
scruffy knees, high top shoes,
never a day of
"why don't you like pink?"
"why don't you wear dresses?"
"why don't you speak quieter...
...like a good girl should."
and i wonder if my prayers are like poison
or if my fears are coating you like warpaint
preparing for the battle we have fought before you.
yes time has passed since my mother coated me
yet the color of woman still streaks my face.
and do not ever question the world sees it.
perhaps wishful thinking would bring you bliss
and a naive heart shut would save your innocence
but when i produce the greatest miracle of our earth
they will still cover your beautiful being with a pink cap--
even one minute old you will know your place.
and i imagine when we bring you home
and that first night begins
with a soft wail, then a loud one
and your father tries to shush you
i will press my finger to his lips and tell him
no man will tell our daughter not to speak
whether for milk or justice
against wet diapers or atrocities
seeking comfort or equal rights
instead i will hold you in the cradle of my arm
and sing softly,
"we shall overcome. we shall overcome...
...we shall overcome some day."