You grew up as expected,
fit prescribed dimensions. Then
you met some people
you weren’t supposed to meet
and did some things
no one had planned you would do.
You began to grow in some areas,
shrink in others, shrink
from some others while growing
toward others, toward people
largely unplanned for by those
who planned you out.
Now you’re scared of the flag they revered,
scared of the uniforms they obeyed,
and they’re a little scared of you in return —
or so you’d like to believe. It’s possible
that they don’t see or hear you at all now.
Wrote you off, a failed experiment. Wrote you
into a narrative that preserves their own.
That’s how it started, after all:
with you fitting into their story.
Now you fit into it by no longer
fitting into it. It’s all win for them,
and for you too once you choose
to let their story go
in order to embrace your own.