Once upon a time
in a kingdom not too far from your own
lived a maiden with skin dark as night
and eyes bright like the stars when they shown.
Her words came out strong
and they hung heavy in the air.
Her chest stuck out forward
because she was meant to be there.
Her steps were loud
and she stood tall
and the people in her town felt small
and did not like her at all.
So they whispered lies in her ear
and told her things that they thought she should hear.
They told her women are to be soft
and you are rough.
Women are meant to be pleasant
and you are too much of something that's not enough.
Women should hold their tongue
and smile behind the muzzle we put in place.
Women are not like you
because women have a pretty face.
And yours is marred by the words
you speak into existence
and the space you take up
with what we call dislikable persistence.
And she believed them for a while.
She believed her heart was far too wild.
And so she replaced her breaths of truth
with those of lonely air.
And she wore long skirts
to appeal to those she was told would care.
She stood hunched over
to make herself small
until one day
a stranger rode in on the day of the town's ball.
A women with pale skin
and a long flowing mane.
She reminded the maiden
of the strength she used to retain.
But her strength lay not in her voice
but in what she loved.
Her delicate heart was not weak
and was something that refused to be shoved.
With her came other women
with different types of character weight.
But all whether loud, quiet, graceful, or clumsy
were women no matter their traits.
And so the maiden straightened out her back
and stood again with height.
She filled the room with her presence of might.
And she spoke a simple fact.
I am a woman with many words
and from my beauty this does not detract.
A woman is strong
A woman is soft
A woman is thoughtful
A woman is as changeable as the sea.
A woman is whatever she so pleases to be.