she’s just a girl

not like only a girl
not like
don’t expect much from her
except turn the stew mix the rice in
she’s just a girl not like
only a girl not like
school not meant for her
not like it costs money to send five kids
so just send the boys
she’s just a girl not like only a girl
but yes like baby girl

just look at the way
her hair curls into each candy colored hair tie
she should be kept away from the boys
who like to play outside and instead of kicking the ball
they want to kick her
let her just be
a girl
not like expect less maybe like
less shoving less smacking
more candy colored hair ties
and listen to her sing just listen to her
sing she’s got a voice on her that girl
not like anything you’ve ever heard
because she’s a woman when she sings
she’s grown learned whose eyes to trust and who’s not telling

the truth
learned the right buses to take when it gets too loud in the house
the 41 is always running and for a girl just under 13 like her
it’s only 50 cents in her city
did you hear her voice?
she must have been singing out a whole lifetime gone wrong
that baby girl singing like she’s already nursed a few children
turned the stew and mixed the rice for too many uncles and brothers

so she’s just belting out what she knows best
too grown to miss being a girl
not like expect anything less from her
more like baby
yes more like just wanting someone to pick her up
rock her to sleep and call her


© Uchechi Kalu 2014

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