Peter’s not coming, darling.
You can latch the window and take the white ribbons from your hair,
stop sleeping with socks on and packing going-away bags.
Whispering the names of the lost boys will not hasten them to you.
Clapping your hands is no enchantment.
There is magic, though, in lining your eyes,
and spells to be cast in sharpening your tongue.
Come to me, darling, and I’ll show you how queens carry themselves.
I will teach you how to wrangle womanhood and tame it into a lapdog,
to recognize pirates without their hooks and rapier them with words,
to say no to heartless boys who need mothering
and make peace with stern princesses and jealous faeries.
I will help hide away childhood in the gilded cage of your ribs,
where it may blossom and thrive in the wildest part of you.
Here you will never grow old, never die.
Here is your Neverland, laced through your heart like corset strings,
tied up tight into a ribbon no span of years can unravel.

—"To Growing Girls Who Dream of Neverland" by S.T. Gibson

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