Evolution: Things I Whisper to My Daughter While She is Sleeping

by Crystal Tennille Irby

Someday someone will tell us
We are not special
Remind us we are mere mortal/able to be broken
Remind us were made second/ate from apple first
We will breathe it like air/accept it as truth/live by it
Not knowing it is killing us
Pass it on to our daughters through utero then lip
Girls are harder/trouble/emotional volcanoes
Pushing them into wilderness
Wondering/Waiting/Willing poised as prey

Imagine instead whispering welcome
Into daughters’ formative ears
Wrap yourself in your brokenness
Pieces melt into mold
Worthy of love/forgiveness/redemption
We altar call every Sunday women
Imprint your burdens on me
Take the angry/the tired/the poor
Ask in Jesus' name to make them more

Overwhelm pews without reflection in pulpit
Feed families prayer over fairytale pixie dust
Grandmother/mother/aunt/daughter/sister/baby mama/and even her mama
Stretch heart like womb
Put prayer for you before prayers for themselves
Chat catch phrases
No weapon formed against me…
They better be glad I’m saved…
Or simply My God, My God

We who entangle ourselves in delusional expectation
We who possess behavior modification skills
Without lifting hand/through side eyes to children/stare down with hands on hips
To those who dare lie, raise suspicion, or treat us as less than
We who move mountains
With no expectation of seeing the peak
Seek, More for dearest daughter
Speak, Life into her being
Tell her
Close your eyes
Feel your flesh
Know it is as real, a reflection of your soul
Able to be cut/burned/scarred
This is your beginning

Here are your commandments
Carry only what won’t make you bitter
Learn to bend without breaking backbone
Remind yourself you are worth all
Never swallow guilt and shame
Allow it to sit in belly
Eating away instinct

Always hold hallelujah in your throat
Repentance is nourishment for the soul
Anything lost can be redeemed

Nothing about you is worth hiding
Clothe yourself in only what allows you to breathe
Like honesty/humility/prayer
Anything you hold in will hold you back
Shape you into an unattainable image
Positioned to be dismantled

Understand where privilege is being exercised power is present
Know power can always be dismantled or seized
Position is never permanent
It is an illusion of perception
What is real is what you believe about yourself
Which will always seep through whatever ruse holding you hostage

Access is useless and fruitless if mindset is not gutted at the root
When you break the glass ceiling be conscious
Remember not to cut your sisters, my child

You are more than what you are to a man
So be not concerned more with what men think of you
Be first concerned with what we women think of ourselves and other women
No one will come to rescue you
If you are unwilling to contribute to your own salvation
Therefore we must be our own keepers

Someday false images you held as icons will crumble before you
Temptation will beckon you to bury yourself in the wounded rumble
Truth is worth nothing if we are not courageous enough to stand with it
 You are built brave even when it hurts

There is no glory in false strength
Without vulnerability pain will pummel you
Blur the lines
Between who you are/who you think you are/who you pretend to be
No dear daughter you will not get over everything
But you can get through everything

You are priceless
Even when you feel worthless
When the world tries to shine its reflection on you
Turn off the lights
You are worth all
I promise praise shine brightest in the darkest hour
I promise love will hold us harder when we feel heaviest

Birth is beautiful
But birth is not pretty
Birth is passionate
But birth is painful

Especially if we are the child we’re pushing into the world
No one is born before they are ready
Even if the world is not
We push forward on our own time

Never forget dear daughter
After birth
The body must heal
There is beauty in what we create, what we bring into the world
But there is a fantastic fascination in how it transforms us
Allow it to reconstruct you
Be willing to through some of yourself away

Know your body is capable of birthing more than children
Know the fine line between sexual being and sexual object
Choose your weapons wisely
Wield them carefully

Love is unconquerable

Words can split bone marrow/cut through the soul

Compassion is an exercise in activism

Self-righteousness is an act of exclusion

Touch someone’s belly
Feel the flesh
Pinch the fat
Reminding yourself you are not alone
Not the only one transforming
Capable of being stretched
There are times we all feel full
Moments when we all feel empty
Longing for someone to feel the real us

Nothing is more beautiful than stretch marks
They are proof fire resides within you
Nothing is more precious than laugh lines
They are proof your heart is open
Nothing is more valuable than wrinkles
They are proof that your spirit has been tested
Above all else
Always be willing to start over
Even with yourself