Photograph by Leela Ghaemmaghami

Small Means Fragile

Madeline Mitchem

When you’re small like me
you’re told what you can
and can’t do
you can’t fight or be
intimidating, you can’t lift
anything more than 10 pounds.
But you can sit there quietly.
They assume you’re as fragile
as a vase.
If you fall you’ll break…
into a million pieces, or you’re
like a tree in the fall
if the wind blows you lose
all your leaves.
I’ve been put in a box
by people twice my size.
I’m a child in their eyes.
They’re not completely wrong.
I do struggle with opening doors
but I get them in the end.
I am in fact bony but they get
so much wrong too.
I can lift 40 pounds and
I like to be loud around those I’m
comfortable with.
I am not a mouse in a room
full of tigers.