I Dream of Girls


By Carrie Beyer | Twitter: @clbeyerwriter



The wind I least want

to wrestle

away: the whispering one


that howls in secrets

to the gentle girl

who dares wear flowers


and a scarf in summer, and

fails to bind

her breasts with cups


or walk quickly enough

through that wind

that keeps distracting her


scab-picking, or igniting it

at the most

inappropriate times.



In the middle-sized girls, I see an

Unbecoming, and in

some earlier than others, an insistence

to stop playing

make-believe. I heard one girl say

how time

flies by for those who grow older,

and I thought how cute

for her to say that to a matron. But

on she talked—

I understood it was for the girl that

time was flying—

and I thought, oh God, is she lost in

this masque already?

(Shout on, I will say to the

girls at home, for they

still have ears, it seems, for

every sensation,

which is why they gag and let

their bodies

clutch me when they fear the dark.)



Her shoulder a plush peach

and she a Bavarian cream—

it seemed a shame to dress

her, to stack upon her

the stone of modesty—

for whom, I say, is modesty?

And must she bind up

every dream which is to

suck the silver spoons that

in them she might examine

her beauty? Ask her a

question and the answer

is a thousand times yes

to every adder bangled

round her succulent neck.


About Carrie:

painting_wholeCarrie is a simultaneous seeker of both quiet reflection and hopeful adventure. Her idea of a perfect day is wandering through woods without a trail. Carrie is the wife of a design-loving software guru and a homeschooling mama of their three vivacious boys. She’s a lover of pregnancy and birth, adoption, good tea, and book lists. As her voice unfolds as a writer, Carrie is finding a comfortable spot in poetry; some of her work lands on her blog at clbeyer.com.





  1. Sandy Hay says:

    “oh God, is she lost in this masque already?” These words jumped out at me as I look at my 13 years old granddaughter curled up, asleep, in my bed.

  2. What a better way to try to grasp at all the hard stuff we’ve wrapped the word beauty up in than stunning poetry? It pains me so much to see all the ways we have robbed ourselves of the joy of being beautiful just as we are. Thank you for these words that push me to back toward freedom and undying dreams.

    • clbeyer says:

      Your words really strike at the heart of what inspired this piece, Colleen, and make that rock fall in my stomach again to remember. I believe that’s really the truth of what’s going on–a misdefining of beauty–and you’re speaking that aloud to me just as my poem did in those same ways to you. It’s powerful to witness remembering happen communally: THANK YOU for chiming in.

  3. pastordt says:

    I’ll tell you a happy secret: when you reach sixty or so, those ‘cups’ aren’t really needed so much. So, with care for all of that dreaded ‘modesty,’ you can actually walk around without that binding undergarment. There is something to be said about gravity, I guess! I love this – and welcome you to this good space.

    • clbeyer says:

      Oh! That is a happy secret! It’s a shame old people aren’t coddled like babies, even though we all will eventually go back to doing embarrassing things with our bodies. I guess by that time, the young folks think they ought to know better? Ah, I think they must know the very best! Thank you for bringing your grounding wisdom here, and thank you for your warm welcome.

      I read your mentoring post this week, and connected deeply with it. I love you already!

  4. *happy sigh*
    My elation at seeing you here is superseded only by the haunting effect of your words, Carrie. And what a glorious haunting it is, too. Thank you, friend.

    • clbeyer says:

      Glorious haunting: that’s it, isn’t it? So grateful that there can be glory in the earthly weight.

      Kelli, you are a primary reason this gift is happening right now, you know that? Thank you for your thousands of yeses. I love you!

  5. Katie Gach says:

    I love seeing your writing in such a public place, Carrie!

    Can you tell us something about what inspired this piece?

    • clbeyer says:

      Katie, you’re here! (Talk about comfortable corners of the web. Wherever you are, it feels like a piece of home.)

      This piece is inspired by many things: my raucous boys, the stubborn resilience of wildflowers and weeds along Linear Trail, my own inclination to feel freer when I’m alone out there. I’m struck that there is no apology for freedom in beings like children and weeds, and conforming comes as an afterthought, as a method of coping. It seems like a ridiculous way to love–to constrain and contain ourselves. I’m glad that there’s mystery in that: that culture and clothes, rules and routines may somehow bless us and help us discover freedom.

  6. This made me cry… Thank you.

  7. Oh this is lovely:

    it seemed a shame to dress
    her, to stack upon her
    the stone of modesty—
    for whom, I say, is modesty?

    A friend of mine had a baby girl about a month ago and I’ve heard her lament that it seemed such a shame to have to cover her up, she’s so perfect (and to be honest, so happy to be naked). What a treat to start the day with poetry. Thank you!

    • clbeyer says:

      It’s such a strange thing of our broken earth, isn’t it, to see something never so perfect as a new, naked baby so soon to be covered up. We have a nice word for getting clothes on–culture–which helps us see the grace in it, right?

      Thank you for reading, Claire! It’s a gift to hear your thoughts.

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