I Practice Nonviolence Everywhere But Here

I want to say that I’m very good at practicing forgiveness, but that is not always true.  I am a grudge-holder, at times.  I can take things too personally, at times.  And, if you’ve ever really hurt me, you’ll know I’m a girl who brings a gun to a knife fight (that’s a metaphor, just to be clear).  It’s no good, really.  I am working on it.

I am working on it everywhere in my life, except for in this one area.  In this one area, I just can’t imagine working on it.

Thankfully, I have never personally experienced what I write about here.  I’ve also never been good at whispering.  I don’t think anyone in my life has ever asked me to speak up.  I’ve been thinking about why that is: Is it because I was a tomboy as a kid?  Because I played sports?  Because I had an older brother with whom I had to keep up?  Or, was it always just in me?  Was I just born loud?

I think about it because I see all of these little girls and I wonder when they begin to learn to whisper.  There is no whispering from them at the age they are now.  These little girls scream and yell and play and run and fight just like any kid.  I will teach them that screaming and yelling and playing and running and fighting are things that they never have to stop doing.

If I’m going to teach my boys to wait for “Yes” (and not just “Yes” but “Yes!!!”), then you’d better believe I will teach my girls how to yell “NO!”

I will never make them kiss an adult hello or goodbye.  I will not let an adult guilt them into a kiss hello or goodbye.  And, before you brush over that, this is what that kind of guilt looks like:

“Aren’t you going to give me a hug and a kiss?  I’ll be sad if I don’t get a hug and a kiss from you.”

I know many people find this harmless.  I don’t know that it’s not, actually.  But I am trying with all of my might to remove any possible areas of harm, of anything that might retrain my girl (or my boy) from responding to her (or his) own inner voice.  I don’t want them giving love because they are afraid of seeing someone sad or mad.  I especially don’t want them giving love to a person in power (i.e. an adult) because they are afraid of seeing them sad or mad.  I am trying to protect my children’s inner sense of how and to whom they give love.  They know it right now.  They know how to give it, when to give it, and to whom to give it.  I’m trying not to mess with what they know inherently.

I’m trying to keep their inability to whisper intact in this area.  If, for whatever reason, they start to whisper, I will be there.  And that boy (or man) better run for his life, if he doesn’t listen to it, I’m sorry to say.

***
I Practice Nonviolence Everywhere But Here

I let him go too far with me.
I whispered “No,”
but that was all
before he was inside.

I counted
one-one thousand,
two-one thousand,
but stopped at three
because I realized then
I didn’t want to know
how long it was going to be.

If anyone ever touches her
after she whispers “No,”
I will kill them for her.

I will kill them
for me
in one-one thousand,
two-one thousand,
three.

1 Comment
  • Really powerful poem, Annie. Well done.

    July 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

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