She would like to say she has outgrown this armor
but in truth it was never made for her at all,
sheaths of beaten steel she polishes-
a timeless ritual of women,
in thoughtless anticipation of battles to come.
She would like to say she can lay down this outsized monstrosity
and find a clear stream to wash off the dirt,
sweat of fear and unending exertion-
but it cannot be laid down, not now,
it is hers to carry even when she cannot recall where it came from.
She would like to live in her own skin,
or at least choose to make her own armor,
designed to mold to her and move like water-
responsive to her own call for protection,
so unlike this ugly ruin of mail and grief.
She would like to sing instead of cry, and smile instead of hide
as she fights and she dreams for the right,
to exist as she is, in the way that God made her-
while so many other beating hearts tell her,
that her battle is not real and her pain a cruel sham.
She would like to be unbound, and know for sure
if the armor is the problem,
after all, it was not hers-
does it work to keep her lost through the misadjusted visor,
all a trap that's sprung inside, so she never sees the truth and flies away.