Letter to America by Suzanne Frischkorn

One Poem

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Dear America

It’s time to teach my daughter how to shoot an arrow
How to use a knife
How to hit the center of a target
             ​It’s bloody work, but she should know
It’s time to teach her how to win a debate
While applying lipstick without a mirror
And how to hold her keys between her fingers in a parking lot
             ​​It’s time for her to hit the weight room
Join the cross-country team
Cast a spell, literally and figuratively
And it’s time for her to develop telekinesis and clairvoyance
It’s time she knows to never leave her drink unattended
Never drink on an empty stomach
Never drink before her period
And maybe what I mean to say is—never drink alcohol period
It’s time to learn that one day she might switch
Grocery stores because a guy on staff there gives her the creeps
And even if it’s less convenient to travel across town
​             ​It’s always best to trust her intuition
It’s time to teach her that when a grown man stares at her
New breasts, she is not the one who should feel ashamed
America, she’s her mother’s daughter
             ​​She’s got this




Suzanne FrischkornSuzanne Frischkorn is the author of Girl on a Bridge (2010), and Lit Windowpane (2008). In addition she is the author of five chapbooks, most recently American Flamingo (2008). An Emerging Writers Fellow of The Writer’s Center, her honors also include the Aldrich Poetry Award for her chapbook, Spring Tide, selected by Mary Oliver, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.
Read poetry by Suzanne Frischkorn previously appearing in Terrain.org: two poems and three poems.

Header photo of Łuczniczka, sculpture, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Suzanne Frischkorn by Lori Shaller.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.