Pigtails This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 21, 2010
Before it all,
When I was once a
Blade of grass
Swaying in the wind,
Straight up and down,
So simple,
And so naive

When I was once just a flurry of golden pigtails,
A gust of smooth skin,
A hint of wide eyes
The color of sweat dripping off your water glass

Before my smooth sides,
Those perfect lines,
Turned to curves,
A hilly horizon
Upon which you could watch the sun set,
A forest road,
Neglected over time but newly discovered,
Rough and arching,
Before my gait changed
from the gallop of a child
to the strut of a woman

Before I became a wh--e,
Something to be looked at,
Whistled at,
Howled at,
Before short-shorts existed,
When my legs were tools for running as far as they could take me,
Not medals to be shined and polished,
Before there was a glance down my shirt,
A kiss on my lips,
Back when it was safe to walk alone

When women were princesses,
Worshipped and valued,
And I could do whatever I wanted
Because I was strong,
And no one could take that from me,
Back then I was free.

Now I'm too old for all of that.
The giggling young girl is held down by ­expectations.
I must be sexy
But still innocent,
And too stupid to care.
My body is no longer my own.
It belongs to anyone but me.
The strings of a plastic puppet
move my once-familiar limbs
up and down,
sway from side to side,
to catch their attention,
to gather the comments of young boys
I once played tag with.

I'm new and molded
into my teenage form,
taught not to be offended.
“You like it.”
“It's a compliment.”
“It's normal.”

I want to stop them all,
Clap a hand over their mindless statements.
Do you realize
what you're saying?
I could be your little sister
I have a part of every woman in me,
The tinge of her lips,
The slant of her smile,
The arch of her back,
The curve of her breast,
And your shame won't erase my features.
The little girl still spins in circles,
Swinging her pigtails and studying her
pure world,
And I will make her proud.

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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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

TWLOHA said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 6:48 am
I love it, great job makes me want to do some writing myself .
Youngsurvivor said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm
very touching!!! you are great
spiria said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Amazing. Just Breathtaking.
crubs3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm
I love it!!! y isnt this publisghed??  if you could please comment and rate my work that would be great!! especially to anonymous!!!! thanx and ur really good!!!!
gutairgirl said...
Jul. 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm
wow. this is soooooo powerful. it gave me goose bumps! im a girl too and i totaly feel the same way. thank you! thank you for writing this!!! i
bakedbeans replied...
Sept. 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm
wow this is really good (great) i like every word of it because it is true i love at the end when you said " The little girl still spins in circles, swinging her pigtails and studying her pure world, And I will make her proud." Just powerful!!!
KrystalT replied...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm
it really is good. i wonder what it was that inspired you to write this.
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