I Am Standing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I am standing haphazardly,
my feet bare and my face dirty,
on a raggedy Mr. Blankie.
My thumb is encased in my mouth
just as my leg is engulfed in purple plaster.
Badly chopped bangs jump and flutter and twirl.
No cares in the world.
What a liberating feeling
To be two years old once more.

I am swinging
with frigid metal burning my fingers
as I attempt to cross the treacherous bars.
My face is unrecognizable
Coke bottle glasses and a pained expression.
Upper arm strength will never come easily.
The wind, out of spite, puffs
Its cheeks and blows.
I fall, but it doesn't matter because
Nothing matters much at the age of eight.

I am standing at the beginning.
Everything starts now.
The pierced ears, the training bras,
The hip huggers and the makeup,
The secret glances, the fake love letters,
The chocolate cravings and the cramps.
The pain when your “friend” won't talk to you
And the overwhelming joy when she does.
The broken promises and the tear-stained faces.
The woman begins her journey here.
Oh, how I miss the girl.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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