I smooth her eyebrows, shape them
into perfectly groomed, acceptable accent marks
over her big, flashing brown eyes.
I obsess over each unruly hair,
noting when yet another one sprouts
unwelcome on her smooth pale skin.
I squeeze my fingers like tweezers
as my mind imagines the feeling
of plucking away each stray hair.
I call her Wookiee and suggest
Wouldn't you like a little trim?
while stroking her brows and smiling.
But she? Accepts me completely, eyes
on me for guidance and understanding
each second of her young life.
She relies on me for strength,
for believing in her own worth,
for valuing herself as always enough.
And yet, here I am, picking
at her and pushing her into
someone else's ideal of female beauty.
The seconds are quickly ticking away
and I'm filling them with baggage
she'll carry always (as I do).
As a woman, as a mother,
how dare I pass onto her
such a damaging, shaming, harmful legacy?
I put away the tweezers, scissors,
thoughts of beauty and superficial modification,
my issues and baggage and "training."
My job is to love and nurture,
not pick apart and break down.
I am always learning, every second.