advice to 30 year old girls who aren’t ready to woman [poem]

when they tell you that you’re a woman
not a girl
stick out your tongue and
say not today
don’t grow up yet
when they tell you to get rid of that
stupid teddy bear
if you want to find a man
ask them what kind of man is afraid
of sharing space with a stuffed animal
tuck yourself in at night with your furry friend
and feel absolutely no shame
don’t grow up yet
when they tell you that juice boxes are for little kids
with sticky fingers
stab your straw into the box
not up their nose for being in your business
slurp down the sugared drink and
say you like the taste of childhood
don’t grow up yet
when they tell you that cartoons
are for immature minds
as are video games and young adult books
roll your eyes before turning back
to level up your archer
say you like being a hero sometimes
from the safety of your couch before bedtime
don’t grow up yet
when they tell you that real adults
get real jobs to buy real cars and pay real bills
ask them when your real dreams get to come into play
remind them that real lives are really complex and
imagination is part of the bigger picture
don’t grow up yet
when they tell you that you’re too old
to keep faking your innocence
say you know they’re just mad and
it’s not your fault they made the naughty list this year
let the twinkle of amusement in your eyes
be a beacon to those who are
looking for something sweet in a bitter world
you are all sugar on the inside
you not so little girl
just be careful
and don’t grow up yet

-poem by Larissa Lee
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