by Valentina Michelle Smith
When I was five, they took my doll away.
Her name was Suzie. Made from scraps of cloth
And stuffed with rubber foam, she was my friend.
Within my darkened room, I held her close
For comfort from the dangers of the night.
I knew that Suzie would protect me from
The monsters dwelling underneath my bed
And Dark Cloud faces staring in my window.
And, when the sun would banish all night's demons,
My special friend and I would greet the dawn.
"Don't be a sissy, son," my father said,
"You're older now. You're starting school next week."
"Big boys don't play with dolls." I did not cry
Since tears were not an option for a boy.
Instead, I held emotions firmly back
And took it like a man. And on that day
I laid the first foundation for a fortress
Strong and forbidding, terrible to behold.
A fortress known as manhood. Stone by stone,
I added to my fortress. I would learn
The things that were expected of a boy.
Like how to fight, play sports, make fun of girls,
And never show emotions to the world.
My fort protected me. My fort is strong.
Like me. And yet, within the fortress walls
A child weeps, and mourns her long lost friend.
The child will emerge some day, arrayed
In beauty, grace, and confidence. Some day,
But not today. She fears the world outside,
And hides within the fortress walls, alone.
If only Suzie could be with her, then
She could be brave. Suzie would protect her
From monsters dwelling in the souls of men
And stern, condemning faces staring at them.
Together, they could banish all night's demons
And greet the dawn together, unafraid.
© 1997 by Valentina Michelle Smith. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, and compilation design) may be printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without the express written consent of StorySite and the copyright holder.