Because You Said I Couldn't


United States
42° 3' 57.78" N, 88° 1' 0.2676" W
United States
42° 3' 57.78" N, 88° 1' 0.2676" W

Because you said I couldn’t wear my long hair down.

I stomped into daycare,

Threw my bands on the ground.

And rinsed out all the product in the school water fountain,

You yelled,

I felt for the drips coming down my back,

Counting them.

Strands popping out in all directions,

And your anger had spurted up to the rim.

But at age 3, I couldn’t care less.

I felt like I’d moved a mountain.

Because you said I couldn’t,

I became best friends with a boy,

I snuck over to his house every weekend,

Played with his toys.

I even ate dinner with his family,

And called his parents “Mom” and “Dad”.

And strangely enough,

They didn’t seem to mind that nickname too bad.

Because you said I couldn’t

Be independent all on my own,

Due to a social class

In which I was born to belong,

I worked myself sick behind a register all day long,

Just so at the very end I could say that I proved you wrong,

Because then,

Even if I was bed ridden for several days later,

You and I can now both say that you’re nothing more than a hater,

Because though you see me as a spoiled brat creator,

I’m the debater.

The translator.

The game changer,

And play maker.

And even in that moment,

When I saw your face break,

It was worth every cough and every headache.

Because you said I couldn’t.

Some days, I forgot to eat,

I forgot to eat.

But in the end,

The goal I’m reaching for,

Will be all the compensation I need.

Because I remember,

The years you said I couldn’t,

And I believed you.

I remember how pain

Used to meld into my bones,

Like blood so heavy,

It weighed my head down.

Kept my eyes to the ground.

As if your criticisms could be counted in pounds.

Because I remember.

I remember how it burned

When no one was around,

It’s funny how hard you can cry,

Without making a sound.

And I wasn’t the only one,

I realize that now.

We were all just kids

Waiting to be found.

Waiting for someone

To pick us out of a crowd.

And to make us feel like

We mattered.

And for years when I asked you

To do something

Like that

For me

You would say you couldn’t.



You couldn’t?

All these years

You’ve condemned me

For trying to be things

I couldn’t-

It’s about time you own up

To the things that keep you barred down

In chains,

With only sunlight

Peeking through the cracks,

Like a tease,

And showing you the one thing you can’t reach,

That you can never be depended on

By someone like me.

It’s about time.

And it was at that time,

That I realized I was leaning on a tree,

That had been tilted off its base,

For the last few centuries.

Your branches of cutthroat cut-downs,

No longer get to me.

Because I remember,

I learned to move mountains at age 3.


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