Same Person / Personal Space

Personal Space by Ashlee Craft

(from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 7)

walking tall with my
shoulders back & my chin lifted
no, no more do I cower hiding behind false bricks & pretending that I am not there
no more do I hide inside myself too afraid to speak at all
no more do I complacently go along with what I am told & never question it
no more do I take the words of others as gospel
or think that just because someone thinks I should do something, that I should
or that I have to go along with it
& never belong to anyone but me
no more am I am afraid to speak up for myself

don’t let them push you around
two people told me this in the same week
& I took it to heart that time when I finally said no
& learned to take my life back
from the hands of others to whom they thought it had been given
don’t let them push you around
stand up for yourself
stand up for yourself
stand up to all those who try to repress you
or keep you where you don’t want to be
or make you uncomfortable
or bring you down in any way
or make you feel like you’re not worth it

no more shall I avert my eyes & look down
as if I am hiding
no more shall I hunch my shoulders
as if I am invisible
no more shall I let others push me around
as if I am not worthy of respect
I am a different person now
& no one pushes me around
no one tells me what I should be
no one brings me down
no one makes me afraid
no one makes me feel invisible
no one stops me