Conforming

Freedom, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Don’t cry, Susan
My mother said as many of yesterdays’ horrific events
fade back into the recesses of my being …
my tears dried.

Don’t feel, Susan
the world told me as a diverse and risking life continued to teach me
well into the depths of my adult life. . .
Numb became normal.

Stop! my body tries to tell me
as I cry and risk and go on
well into the best part of my life and my work.
I go on working. . .

Don’t be a woman of possibility,
a woman who says the f___ word,
obey the message
“ be nice”
the world says of my ability to say no
because I am a female.

Smile, don’t cry, be nice, talk nice
holds me in a self-made prison of my messaging ...
when
I want to roar, shout, cry, be hated and
most of all not be nice!

I hurl myself through the wall of messaging
Plunging into the
Wild wonderful world
Of freedom and excitement and possibility
Of creative identity named
ME.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.