I will graduate.
I will be a graduate.
To turn away from the comfort
and security of my home,
whose bulky, floral comforter
envelops me even in the summer,
when I get lost in the pillows of my innocence.
My seldom clean room,
my brother's annoying,
blaring music downstairs,
which rattles thefloor,
in a violent, but somehow endearing earthquake.
To abandonWally's Mobile,
and Main Street, New City,
(in all its disarray),
with cars flying by,
bouncing over the raised manhole covers and sewerdrains,
zig-zagging through a temporary course
lined with orange cones,
trying to pass for a roadway.
Drivers cursing the town for taking so long
to complete the road widening,
while also noting that each shoppingcenter is in desperate need of
a paint job.
Why have Ibecome so attached
to my utterly boring daily life?
The answer lies inthe question:
MY utterly boring daily life,
The one chosen for me.
The one I must leave.
I won't only graduate from high school,
Butfrom clean, folded laundry on my bed each day,
From my brothers' LittleLeague games, and school concerts,
My little blue Jetta in the driveway,
And David's Bagels breakfast before midterms.
I wish I could takethese things
With me to Baltimore,
To Johns Hopkins University
WhereI will not be the big
the helpful daughter,
I will simply be the noun.
Agraduate among many.
I will be just one in a mass of
Whom Iwill see in passing at
Open houses and receptions.
None can see withinme,
Or know where I have been,
Or what I have been through.
But maybethey feel the same.
I feel clogged,
Suffocated by the thoughts andpressures,
By the discouraging people who remind me that
"It's goingto be hard, hard work."
Give me the courage,
Not to toss aside mychildhood
In this small, suburban town,
But just to tuck itaway,
Away from any outside influence,
In a placewhere I can always find it again.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.