“You’re so arrogant,” she said.

“I just know what’s important.”

“I bet I know more than you.”

They don’t share my enthusiasm

although they pretend to, at first

at the end of the day, they say “goodbye”

and when I say “Hey, goodbye!” They’ve already lost interest

They notice things about me

and when I show them more

they disapprove

My confidence has been growing

like a robust weed

it doesn’t belong in their garden

with neat rows

of sickly tomatoes

waiting to be harvested

they’ve poisoned me with their sarcasm

and public humiliation

leaving me to die in the dirt

“you’re so bitter, you must hate women.”

“No.”

It’s true, and I marvel at myself

I’m sweet

despite being rooted in the same spot

for so long.

Where does my confidence come from?

It comes from becoming

who I want to be

dismissed and labeled

fenced off and forgotten

I’m okay with that

Most are stunted and half-dead

waiting to be harvested

I have no place

in their garden

and as I keep growing

they wonder what feeds me

it isn’t their opinions, good or bad

it isn’t success, in their eyes

but success, in my own

I don’t need their empowerment

I don’t need anything

and they hate me for that

“You’re so arrogant,” she said.

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