Letters to Karen

Two lost girls found each other

Soul sisters from different mothers

Rapunzels in our towers,

counting down the hours

till our knights in shining armor came to save us

So tired of the worlds our parents gave us

 

Single-stoplight towns ain’t much to talk about

We used to pray to Jesus, searching for a way out

We escaped inside a world of stories,

of Once Upon a Time and Hunger Games

We fled our quiet villages in words and pages,

and I believed we were the same

 

We had but one difference,

but it made no difference,

for I was naive,

and I still believed

that lines of red and lines of blue

could never break the bond between me and you

 

You wanted a prince – tall, gallant, and strong,

who rode a prized steed and burst out in song

when he caught sight of you with his sweet hazel eyes –

a man who’d hold you till you died

 

I wanted a queen – fierce, stunning, and bold

with more passion and fire than one heart can hold,

who burned with ambition and never backed down –

a woman with vision who fought for her crown

 

I respected your dreams of a babbling brood,

because we are endowed at birth with the right to choose

You forced a smile and wished me well,

but what you really meant was, “Good luck in hell”

 

For three years, I choked on your sugary insults,

endured your judgment, never asked why

I let your words invade my head, carried them on every breath,

as I followed you further past the line

Though I turned back and never stopped walking,

sometimes I swear I still hear you talking

 

“Hush, hush, button up

Don’t go tempting men into sin

Be a proper lady, march out for the babies

It’s murder to back out once you get in

Society is evil, women want too much

If you’re wearing Daisy Dukes, then you’re asking to get touched

But never trust a woman who covers her head,

for all her people won’t rest till they see us all dead

It’s Adam and Eve, no room in between

What kind of sick man would call himself “queen”?

May daughters stay daughters and sons stay sons

Remember who holds the broomsticks and who holds the guns

A woman’s place is in the home,

unless there’s a virus

No one would’ve caught it

if they’d been more pious

Blame it all on China, for America is great

Land of the free, home of the brave,

as long as they come with their papers in hand

and don’t fight when you lock up their babies in cages

and cast off all ties to their first motherland

and kiss your pale feet for their minimum wages

Can’t you be modest, keep it in the closet?

Protect our young children from your rainbow pride

Your identity is man-made, like your alphabet soup parade

It shouldn’t be called a wedding unless there is a bride”

 

Amazing Grace, I’m no longer blind

I see the untruth of your thoughts in my mind

and now I understand the real meaning of life

Wake up, Neo – the world is a lie

 

I hope God forgives me for running with men,

for trading the homestead for English and math

for being too stubborn and refusing to bend

for carving my own road where there was no path

for miniskirts and bikini tops

for middle fingers at the cops

for the lipstick I’ll leave on boys and girls alike

for calling Trump’s America a new Third Reich

for cursing on Sundays and stockings with holes

for having sweet dreams about Angelina Jolie

for casting no judgment towards women on poles

for choosing a life that’s fulfilling to me

 

I hope God forgives you for shackling yourself,

for silencing every voice who speaks against yours

for shutting out reason and risking world health

for calling strong women “tramps”, “floozies”, and “whores”

for red hats and bigotry

for conversion therapy

for the babies carrying babies of despicable men

for the girls forced into motherhood at barely past ten

for raising your children to hate what is new

for fresh blood spilled on innocent black skin

for the children shot dead inside their schools

No, I’m not the one who’s living in sin

 

We’re no longer children

This is no fairytale

I’m sick of pretending and defending

to wake up and find there is no happy ending

Yet even now I care, although I know hope is lost

A part of me still loves you, no matter the cost

 

I see you in every swan, every fire

I think of you when I watch 5-O

No matter how you’ve hurt me,

it hurts me more to let you go

 

I’m sorry I let you read my favorite books,

only to watch you twist their wisdom

to support your theories on life

I’m sorry I took the time to apologize,

only for you to ignore my plea

and cut me with your coldest knife

 

We were both mermaids, but when the time came

to become “part of their world”,

you chose to drown

Independence is fearsome – I too am afraid

of loving and losing and wandering alone,

but I won’t back down

 

Stop waiting for a savior and rescue yourself

You live with one arm bound, with freedom within reach

I’d say you deserve better, but you’ve dug your own grave,

for you hardly understand all the ideas you preach

 

You were born into privilege,

and you take it for granted

But despite your advantage,

you are still empty-handed

 

You choose ignorance over truth,

for it’s easier to stay blind

But you’ll spend your life stumbling

until you can open your mind

 

Two lost girls lost each other,

torn apart by colors and lovers

by narrow minds towards narrow eyes

and movements protecting the wrong set of lives

 

I pray our paths will lead home to Heaven,

when we’re older and wiser and know true repentance

I pray we both live with love and compassion,

so our Father may greet us with His smile at the entrance

 

But today, I’m afraid I can’t call you my friend,

although I tremble to write this last message I send

You must think I am selfish, and perhaps this is true,

but I wish only knowledge and enlightenment on you

 

Here stands the fork where we take our own roads

I tried so much harder than you’ll ever know

 

I wish you luck, Karen,

but here I draw the line

Until you learn true sisterhood,

you are no sister of mine

—-

This is one of the most personal poems I’ve ever written. For several years, I was very close friends with a Republican girl while I was a Democrat. I always believed our political views would never affect our friendship, but when she started vocally supporting Donald Trump, I realized that I couldn’t stand behind some of her beliefs, and we drifted apart. It became especially uncomfortable when I came out as bisexual and became an active feminist – two things she did not support. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do, it still broke my heart to end the friendship. A part of me still loves her because I remember how close we used to be, but I won’t sacrifice my own mental health and sense of justice while I wait for her to change her mind.

This poem is my way of saying “enough is enough”. When I was younger, I used to think I was doing something wrong if it made people uncomfortable. Now I have learned that a society that lives in its comfort zone can never grow past its outdated ways of life, and society needs change to grow. Today, I am proud to be an openly bisexual, progressive woman of color who supports equality for all. I will never stop fighting for what I believe in, and I am no longer afraid of losing friends if I speak out because I know there will always be people who respect me and stand with me. As for the people I’ve lost along the way, I wish them well and I hope they will learn to set aside their prejudice. But at the end of the day, I can’t make them support justice; I can only control my own actions and keep speaking up for what I believe in.

Published by madforskating

Confessions of a crazy skating fangirl. Your local Pair Skating Yoda. Sometimes I write about other stuff. • 17 • Asian-American • bi • she/her

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