primal self - in poetry

i grew up scared
though i was told to be confident
told i was capable of doing whatever i wanted
then shoved back at nearly every turn
unless i crawled in the proper manner
and said just the right things

i grew up scared
because the animal inside of me
watched how power was held
in my family
and some tiny kid part of me knew
that animal was Done For
if this was how the world worked

so i did
passed it
wasted it
waited through and waded through
the bullshit
and abuse
of our schooling
and our patriarchy
through all the parts
that were expected of me
until i could have a Choice
that'd be respected
and land me anywhere other than
thoroughly fucked and starting over
in some new body

and then i started Choosing
for a while still with apologies
for a while still making damn good use
of that mask they liked me to wear
that proved i could be disregarded
because i was overly stubborn
or ridiculous
or not quite pretty or smart enough
to be noticed
for a while still acting like my power wasn't there

until it was

i began to feed myself
my power, grown from the corpse
of that sad animal inside of me
fed me on my own remains
on the sum of my
socially-acceptable parts

i began to consume
not the typical things - media
and shoes and pre-approved 'healthy' foods
but myself

i began to consume myself
that self that i thought i claimed
that i thought was ME
but which was really JUST
a clusterfuck of coping mechanisms
making it Easier
to exist
in an manner acceptable to the elite
a manner less scary for other people
a manner that did not threaten The System

i ate those parts of myself
over these last few years
and now that sad, rotting animal
has been reborn
and is growing stronger every day
on the bones of my starved self, and memories

is growing stronger every day
surrounded by other wild animals
trees and clouds and plants that want to heal me
that animal grows stronger
every time i tell my old abusers to
Get. The. Fuck. Out.
and claim my life and my ground

i have chosen my place
out here in the wilds
where The Man doesn't care
if i live in a mud hut
where i can choose my battles wisely
and feed myself from the land
where i can bring honor to death
in its many forms
and grow my hedges thick
against those who would undermine me

i have chosen my place
to grow strong
to watch the animal inside of me
pace and stretch and feed
and prepare to fight
THIS is my stomping ground.