To My Baby Sister

Dear Baby Girl,


When I left for college two years prior,

You were fourteen and still a baby.

And look at you now;

A young woman in the making –

A flower blooming in the spring,

Growing into herself.


No longer do you sit

And color the trees and the woods

Amidst a fairytale re-telling.

No longer do you walk the runway

In the hall between our rooms

Showing off that brand new shirt –

Printed and colorful and crazy.



Now you sit upon my bed

Engulfing me in the gossip of your life.

Now you pace the hallway between our rooms

Worrying and wondering if your outfit

Is just right.


You don’t notice,

But I see you.

The way you shift in place

And tug at your shirt in front of the mirror;

Unable to get rid of that nagging itch;

That unrelenting feeling that you don’t yet

Look perfect.

The way you smear and glaze over your imperfections

With tubes of skin colored paint,

And the bottles that contain not-so-precious liquids.

You don’t notice,

But I see you.

You don’t know this,

But I was you.


I can’t help but ask,

What happened to the little girl

I knew before?

The girl not yet tainted by the

Harsh misgivings of our world.

The girl that was daring and unafraid

And so ready to speak her mind.

What happened to the girl whose determination

rivaled a lion’s roar?


Your innocence,

Your sweet, sweet ignorance

Towards the outside world

Has shifted.

Has been mulled over,

Tugged at,



The girl who two summer’s ago,

When we were honked and hollered at,

When we were catcalled by the older boys in the

Truck adjacent,

Asked if I knew them,

If we were friends?

And I looked up to the sky

And died a little

At the sweet, sweet bliss you could only comprehend.

And now

We walk the long and lanky tiles of the mall,

Whistled at and catcalled,

And you feed into it

Because you don’t understand that

You’re a princess among peasants;

A lioness among the pack

And you deserve much, much better.


You’re so afraid of being judged,

That you change yourself for them.

You’re so afraid of speaking up,

That you fade into the background –

Telling them what they want to hear.

I lose a little piece of myself

Every time I watch you shed one of yours.


I would ask,

“But it’s high school,” you’d say,

“You can’t tell me you weren’t

exactly the same way?”

So I’ll leave you with this:



You’re beautiful.

You’re smart.

And you can do anything

You put your mind to.

You’re tough;

The star of the soccer field

And full of sass onstage,

Covered in bruises

Because you’re true to your game.


Wear make-up to enhance,

And confidently, too.

But please,

I beg,

Don’t wear it to cover you, Jewel.

Those stretch marks and scars,

Evident of a warrior’s past,

Describe who you are

In spite of the mass.

You’re style has changed,

And that’s quite okay,

Just please make sure you aren’t

Wearing it just ‘cause of the name.


This probably won’t mean much,

At fourteen plus two,

Just know I’m here looking out for you, Boo.

You are not alone,

And you never will be.


We may fight,

We may cry,

In the midst of laughter and hugs;

Just know,

And never forget,

That I am

And always will your biggest supporter.

Your most stubborn counterpart. 

The one person that will love you;

No judgments.


So Baby Girl,

Just remember this:

You were put on this Earth to thrive,

Not just survive. 

Believe me, I know

That one day

You are going to blow our minds.



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