Sugar and Spice

Layla Sisson

Sugar and spice.

 

From a tender age, young girls are treated like porcelain: 

dainty delicate and pure, 

not to be exposed to the filthy elements of the earth like a boy would be.

 

Dressed up in pink like the dolls they are given,

frilly and doe eyed.

 

They are told that one day they will be mothers

 

That they will bear children, wash the laundry, and scrub the floor. 

She is told her purpose is to please a man.

   

 Yet at this age we did not know who we wanted to be.

We were told that us girls are made up of sugar spice and everything nice. 

 

That we are to be nothing but sweet and kind, 

that we should not mind when we are being put down.

 

And oh boy were we put down.

 

Boys in our grade would yank our hair, tear our dresses, and steal our toys and if we uttered a word about it, we were told “boys would be boys.”

 

So, for many of us the silence stayed as we grew older.

 

And as we flowered with adulthood and bloomed like the tulips we were told to go pick, 

We were showered with unwanted praise and whistles from men who were once the same boy who teased us.

 

Now our sugar and spice and everything nice is looked up and down by boys 

eyeing our hips and licking their lips wanting a taste.

 

And if we reject these advances, every “compliment” said to us is taken back much quicker than it was ever said, 

 

and we are once again treated like nothing.

Layla Sisson is fourteen years old and attends Manatee School for the Arts. “Closet” received an Honorable Mention in the Manatee Libraries and 805 Teen Poetry Contest.

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