What did it mean?

To be a tom-boy seemed

A complement

That was something

A girl like me

Might aspire to, who

Ran through woods,

Mostly barefoot—but often

In my twirling dress.


Was the inner drive

that hummed within my little heart

to be found small—

for smallness meant you could

be scooped up—

making men feel strong

Which is what they wanted

All along, perhaps?

Or was I wrong?

There was always this ache

To tell a story all my own.

But pulling

Was another note, that perhaps

The story I was born to have wrote

Was to be the greatness

Behind his name—

The mother, the

Wife, the maker—

Behind the greatness,

The self-forsaker—

Was that really what


Must mean?

And I understand, why for this generation

Definitions of gender have been

Evaded. Suddenly,

they realize gender is jaded.

Paradoxically, you’ll still find me

In the woods—

Not small, but still twirling down the trail,

my branches and roots unabandoned sequoias.