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i am not your daughter

by anneonomus


she wears the clothes you bought for her
and underneath, my skin.
my face, those wide doe eyes
took so long to perfect. she’s pristine,
ready-made, down to the last detail.
a team effort, i don’t remember
when i started on her but
it must’ve taken years of careful fabrication.
trial and error feedback until
she was exactly what you wanted.
and you loved her,
didn’t you? she was the one you held, praised,
needed. you needed her, i know,
i knew. i could see the way you clung to her,
the panic on your faces when the life-preserver
slipped, just slightly, out from your whitened knuckles.
i won’t try to take it away again.
i know that you love her, you loved her,
you love her more
than you could ever love me.


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Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:28 am
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silented1 says...



Like it! Good to get things out.




anneonomus says...


Thank you!



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Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:14 pm
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LilPWilly wrote a review...



Dang I like this a lot. Your pacing, your flow from emotion to emotion is very powerful. The message is poignant. The metaphor of a life preserver is well executed, although it caused me some confusion. Is it her life they mean to preserve or their own? Are they at risk, perhaps of despair, if she isn't their 'perfect'? Or is it her perfect self they are trying to save? Either one adds a lot of meaning. At any rate, the whitened knuckles adds excellently to both the image and meaning. The dissociation is a wise insight into this character as well as a sustainable metaphor.
I would make a couple changes. I would put a period or line break between 'team effort' and 'I don't'. I would leave 'I knew' on the same line as 'I know'. I would change the period after fabrication to a semicolon. I would put a line break after each sentence, for example, after 'didn't you?'
Good work, good message. Good luck!




anneonomus says...


Thank you for your review! As to your question about the life-preserver, I did intend for the metaphor to imply that the parents are at risk (or at least believe themselves to be) if the perfect daughter is taken away, though I do love the interpretation that they are trying to save her perfect self. Honestly, it's up for any interpretation.



LilPWilly says...


Thanks lol



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Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:23 am
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RainbowCereal wrote a review...



Heyo!
I'm not usually a huge fan of poetry, but the title caught my eye and I'm glad I read it.
It reads as very personal, and packs quite an emotional punch. I really enjoy your word choice and where you chose to break the lines; the piece is very impactful.

A couple of lines I liked in particular:
1. "she’s pristine,
ready-made, down to the last detail." - This is very illustrative!! I liked this bit in particular because it did a lot to give me the impression early on that what the main character's relationship with their parents are like without saying it super explicitly.

2. "trial and error feedback until
she was exactly what you wanted.
and you loved her,
didn’t you?" - This further solidified what I was already thinking, + I really like that the break before the words "didn't you?" that read as extremely longing, like the character knows ultimately what their parents want and tries so hard to meet that expectation while being aware that in doing so it means stuffing down who the character truly is. I also see that sentiment in the way the character talks about themselves as if the girl the poem is about is a different person from them entirely.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it reads like the character is transgender & their parents are unaccepting. It's something that hits rather close to home, and assuming this is the case this piece did leave quite an impression on me. This bit in particular:

"i could see the way you clung to her,
the panic on your faces when the life-preserver
slipped, just slightly, out from your whitened knuckles.
i won’t try to take it away again.
i know that you love her, you loved her,
you love her more
than you could ever love me."

Really drove the sentiment home, and it's so full of emotion without being overly wordy.

Overall, fantastic job! I look forward to reading more of your work!




anneonomus says...


Hi, thank you so much for your review! I'm really glad you liked the poem and I really appreciate you pointing out the elements that struck you!
Your read on the speaker as transgender is dead on the money- I'm nonbinary and not fully out to my parents, which definitely impacted a lot of the choices I made in this poem. (They mean well, but I can tell they don't really understand where I'm coming from, so it's less painful if I don't try to correct them.) Of course, that's only a part of the issues with identity and the idealized self that the poem explores, but it is definitely there in the background. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that you managed to pick up on it, seeing as it's more of a subtextual theme than outright text.
Again, thank you for the review and your insight into the poem!



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Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:39 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

Oof. This poem packs a heavy punch. I love the phrasing in it, and I found myself nodding along to some lines probably more than I should've lol. As someone who is very much a people-pleaser, I know the struggle of this all too well. It's always painful to try and be someone you're not because you know it will disappoint others, and you're stuck in this internal conflict on whether you should be true to yourself or to make life easier for others, especially when you've been living as this other person for so long. I find it's especially true with parents, which is what this poem seems to be about. If it's autobiographical, hope things get better soon and you find people who you can be yourself around soon <3

I really enjoyed where you placed your line breaks. I think it gave the poem a really delightful and poignant flow, and really made me wonder what it would sound like if it was read aloud. (I bet it would be even more amazing.) You build up this really nice rhythm throughout, and even though I first I thought it was going to rhyme because of the interesting rhythm of the first two lines, I soon feel into the emotional free verse beauty of it. The ending bit, especially, when you repeated the verb "love." It gave it a really nice spiraling vibe that translated the emotion of it well.

Specifics

she wears the clothes you bought for her
and underneath, my skin.


Love love love this line. I feel like it really resonated with me (I spent years of wearing my mother's style of clothing because I didn't know what I wanted before I finally developed my own style) but it also speaks volumes and uses a lot of great devices. Clothing is one of the main ways people develop their identity and style. The part about "clothes you bought for her" solidifies the control/design the parents have over the narrator's so called "perfect self." The part about wearing the skin was also appropriately chilling but still spoke volumes about this alternate persona is the narrator and also isn't her at the same time. It's very moving.

the panic on your faces when the life-preserver
slipped, just slightly, out from your whitened knuckles.


This bit of imagery was really nice. I love the whitened knuckles and panicked faces. I could totally picture it. Nice work.

Overall: really great job! I think that this poem was absolutely stupendous as well as very moving and emotional. I look forward to reading more of your work sometime soon. Until next time!!!




anneonomus says...


Thank you so much for the review, I really appreciate everything you said! Also thank you for saying you hope things will get better soon, that's really sweet of you! (Luckily I was able to move out of my parents' house a while ago, so the emotions in this poem are somewhat less intense than if I were still living there.) Anyway, I'm glad this poem resonated with you, and thank you again for the review. It's really helpful to see which elements stick out to other people and why they do.



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Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:30 am
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TheWordsOfWolf wrote a review...



Hi, hello, good morning, good evening, good afternoon and good night as well as all the other things you may expect in a greeting. I hope this finds you well. Anyway, Wolf here.
Wow, this poem hit hard. I imagine it comes from a place of deep hurt. You know one thing I love about the poetry on here is that some how you all can put these things into words far better than I can and yet again thats been done.
I shall describe this as beautiful, for it is. It is beautiful and heartbreaking.
As well as pleasing to read and look at. One thing I would suggest to you is to watch your punctuation at the begining of the lines but other than that this is a really wonderful poem. Keep writing. I hope to see more of your work in the future




anneonomus says...


Hi Wolf, thank you for the review!
You're right, this poem definitely does come from a place of hurt%u2014 though sort of a convoluted one, as the poem is also meant to explore some of my own culpability for that hurt (hopefully that came through). I'm glad you thought it was beautiful, and thank you for your description!
If you don't mind, I did want to ask what specifically you meant by your suggestion to watch my punctuation at the beginning of lines%u2014 were you referring to capitalization, punctuation marks, or something else? I did choose to leave everything in lowercase for stylistic purposes, but I'm always open to suggestions!



anneonomus says...


Oops, ignore the places where it says "%u2014", those are supposed to be em-dashes but I guess I can't use that character in comments lol.





Ah, I meant capitalization not punctuation. I understand what you mean about leaving it in lowercase now that you've explained it but when reading it just came off as odd. In my opinion for this type of poem capitalization and punctuation should be watched very carefully because they effect the meaning being conveyed. Hope this helps!




That there's some good in this world, Mr Frodo - and it's worth fighting for.
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