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

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It began with my hands
the pride.
I am proud of my mess –

inky fingers,
graphite-coated wrists,

paint-spattered palms,
ball-point-tattoo doodles on knuckle and tendon.

And of the eraser dust scattered
on my sleeves.
Yes,
I am proud also of my clothes –

too-big T-shirts,
baggy pants that drape over my toes,

shoes losing stitches,
mud dried in their treads.
I am proud of my work –

the dust on my arms,
mulch on my feet,

calluses on my skin,
and crackling scarlet sunburns.

Proud that I can
help in the garden
(even when I would rather not),
weed flower beds,
and shuck corn.
I am proud of my mess,
I am proud as a human.
I am proud of my mussy,

falling-out-of-its-ponytail hair,
and the distinct lack of

glossy lipstick,

shimmery shadow,

soft blush.
(I like my freckles, by the way.)
I am proud of my battered writer's bump
on the ring finger
of my right hand.

and of my uncared-for fingernails
and feet that are rough from

gravel

and climbing trees

to clamber onto the roof at sunset.
It goes further now

(it started with the hands,

my art hands).
I am proud of my family, who are weird
enough to suit me.
Also: our small house,
which usually fits all six without complaint!
and which our mother manages

with a strength I can't hope to have.
And these too:

My father, who can haul a laugh
from where I've caged it in my ribs
even on a rainy day.

My little brother, the kindest little boy I know.

My big sister, who can't hold grudges.

My twin sister, whom I depend on to exchange
knowing looks.
I am proud of every flaw –

every creaking place in the floor,

every dark and spooky corner.
And proud

of the papers scattered
books stacked

and pencils strewn

in my bedroom,
which I call organization.

Yes, I am proud.

Not me above others, but me
as myself.
It started with my hands, though.

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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centuriesofjune This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 16, 2012 at 9:27 am:
great poem! i love the sentiment and the format of the poem (the line breaks definitely work). congrats on the publication!
 
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inkersThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm:
There were parts in this that I positively adored. Very lovely work -- I love the idea of it. Congrats on getting published! <3
 
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