I'm Off

I used to cry
Every day
When you dropped me off at preschool.
I remember it
You would hold me
My favorite teacher would hold me
And when you finally left,
I was fine.
I finger-painted.

My first dance recital
You were so proud
Loads of lipstick kisses
But all I wanted to do was play with my new Tommy Pickles doll
You got it for me for doing such a good job
I didn’t want to smile
Why couldn’t we just go home?
But now I look back at that picture
At that sour face I made
And I wish I had smiled
So I could hang that picture on my wall
Because your eyes are beaming with pride

You would go out at night
Date night
Not too often
But just often enough to make me miss the babysitter
So I would be excited when she came.
We would play Barbies
Pretend my pillow was a surfboard and get stinky feet all over it.
But my favorite part didn’t come until the end of the night.
My eyelids struggling against their last will to stay open
You would come in
And kiss me goodnight
And your black itchy jacket smelled of sushi every time

But I am not a little girl anymore
I’m going to be leaving soon
Off on my own
The scary world
And I will probably cry when you drop me off
And it will be hard to smile for a picture
And you will kiss me goodbye
But I will have these memories
And if I get really sad,
I can always finger-paint





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