The state of our nation

I must be careful because I am young.

I must be careful because I am a woman.

I must be careful because I am black.

I must be careful because I am educated.

I must be careful because I am well spoken.

I must be careful because I am outspoken

I must be careful because I am not yet wearing a wedding ring.

I must be careful when I drive.

I must be careful when I walk.

I must be careful when in a group.

I must be careful when alone.

I must be careful, in the work place, of the people who hate to see the proud smile on my face.

I must be careful at home where people assume that my belongings are free.

I must be careful in shopping centres where the world casts strange, ugly glances at me.

I must be careful in parks where children bite, and spit and pee.

I must be careful in public toilets for this is where bad things wait for me

I must be careful of the eyes at the gym.

 the hands on my thighs in clubs.

new people in my neighbourhood

I must be careful not to smile too much at the men in the hood

I must be careful not to look too angry for these men, understood!

I must be careful not to show too much this.

I must be careful not to hide all of that.

Careful, careful,  god dammit  I know the facts.

There are so many rules that bind me, tools used to wind me and tighten me up.

 So many fears forced down my neck that finally come out as tears.

I must be careful, I know.

But fearful ?

No.

This is the state of our nation.

This is the state of our world.

Girl child born and told.

Fear is your favorite dress and chest and crown.

Fear is your new shoes, and school and all the things in and around town.

This is the state of our nation.

This is the state of our world.

Someone please help these girls find the place to grow bold.

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