Like Apples on a Tree

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 16:50 -- PaigeMK

There is this simile

That has been told many times to me

“Girls are like apples on a tree”       

They said, nodding their heads oh-so-wisely,

“The ones at the bottom get picked quick

And once bitten, are dropped to rot.

The girls at the top, however,

Are left to grow, to ripen,

Until one day, a boy brave enough

Climbs the tall tree and picks them.”

 

They’d pat my hands, and I

Sweet-sixteen and never been kissed,

Girl who’s little sister dated before her,

Was comforted, safe in the knowledge that

One day my prince would come,

That I would wait, patiently

For a man, no agency of my own.

 

It wasn’t until later,

When I was reminded once again of this

That I was taken aback, and I sat and

Thought

              Thought

                             Thought

It soon became clear to me

That this stereotypical statement was one of suppression

 

That it tore at the girls, at the foundation they had

That it made girls objects

To be acted upon by men.

That it looked at girls who had,

Made their own decisions

As something less than,

As trash.

They saw those girls as

Rotten.

 

It makes no mention of boys who may act this way.

The boys who take the low hanging fruit

Are not punished.

They remain the subject of their own story.

Free to take, devour, drop, and take again,

No punishment, no harsh words.

No retribution for the girls who were diminished, destroyed,

By gaping mouths and ripping teeth,

Who had the seeds of themselves

Spit out on the wayside

 

There was still this double standard that

Men act

And women are acted upon

We believe women are to be pursued

Are objects of desire, no story of their own

Their lips pouting invitingly, holding back their tongues,

The stories they will never share.

 

I think of the grass under that tree,

Littered with rotten apples

For no fault of their own.

Of the apples blushing under green leaves and golden sun

Hesitant and scared,

Waiting and wanting.

 

I think of this

As they pat my hands once more

Condescending smiles-or worst, earnest-

On their faces, as they tell me of boys and apples once more

I rip my hands out from under them

And climb down my apple tree.

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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