On Our Daughter by Cecil Morris

Our girl, turning seventeen today,
has grown too big for her pink room.
She feels closed in by the four walls
we helped her paint. The whole narrow
house, in fact, is too small for her
blonde longitude. The rooms,
the people, the whole city
lack the latitude she desires.

When she stands before her mother,
toe to toe and eye to eye now,
her blue eyes close or look beyond
toward a horizon we can’t see.
She strains through her second birth,
through the tight canal of family
toward a future that is not ours.

Still, she is our genie, pouting,
stamping, summoning the magic
of her tears against the bottle
of our tiny world. She will
get out—she will—even if
she must break something precious
to set herself free.