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Being Good

“You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

Said my grandmother, and made me drink

a tall glass of over-sweetened milk.

I thought she was praising me,

but it was just a bribe

to make me drink the disgusting liquid.

 

“You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

Said my mother, when I stood before her with tears,

pleading her not to send me to school.

The bribe worked again and

I went to school, pretending to be bold.

 

“You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

Said my father, when I fell down from my bicycle

and scraped my knee.

The statement made me feel like a coward

and snatched away from me

the right to release my pain through my tears.

 

“You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

Said the man I loved,

when I refused to feed his male ego.

The statement aroused guilt in me,

making me feel like an educated harlot

and I was compelled to destroy my self-respect.

 

“You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

Said the world, when it saw me

cherishing my individuality with all my weaknesses.

They wanted me to be helpless…

They wanted me to seek their advice…

They wanted to shower pity on me…

They wanted me to be grateful for their concern…

This time, I understood it was a trap.

I turned my back to the world

And boldly said, “I’m not.”

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