She grew up among plastic,
and media screens with cold lips
teaching her to smile.
In the imperfect airbrushed perfect
a girl child is measured by selfie critique
and how many likes strangers tap onto
frantic gardening of faux reality.
Too much of too little value teaches
selfishness is a gold medal for tantrums,
but the old soul in her tiny frame rebels.
Older than her eight years and wiser than
the river of fools she must swim
she is a spirit teaching warmth grows
from a heart that reaches beyond itself.
Susie Clevenger 2021