i've always been too much
too loud, too withdrawn
too open, too strange
the kids at school
well, you know kids
they knew there was some
about me,
i knew there was some sort of otherness about me
but i was quiet
i kept my head down
and i was not weird enough for
outright torture
except for once
the one time, the first time
i was too female
too girl
too small
too young
he put his hands around my throat
pinned me against the wall
and laughed as i squirmed
we were in first grade
he was much bigger than I
that was the first time
the first time i thought
i can't do anything
i told the teacher
they didn't believe me
he skipped a grade
he's a good kid
you must have just been playing rough

i was too quiet
too scared to stand up for myself
i never went to an adult again
now i am older
my voice is stronger
my hands are steady
my opinions in stone
stone that only i have the strength
to carve into
but sometimes, on quiet nights
i can still feel his hands
around my neck
but they told me,
boys will be boys
he must be flirting with you

no. and to that six year old
me, someday you will be too much
and you will love it
you will be too woman
too opinionated
too loud
too much woman
and you will no longer be scared