Pride | Teen Ink

Pride MAG

August 13, 2010
By MadRabbit BRONZE, Uniontown, Ohio
MadRabbit BRONZE, Uniontown, Ohio
2 articles 2 photos 0 comments

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.
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


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.

The author's comments:
I wrote this for an English assignment, but honestly it was just that I'd wanted to say this for a while. It was a good way to put it out there without just standing up and telling a crowd of bemused classmates, "I'm fine with myself!" That would have been awkward...

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This article has 2 comments.

on May. 16 2012 at 9:27 am
centuriesofjune BRONZE, -, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

great poem! i love the sentiment and the format of the poem (the line breaks definitely work). congrats on the publication!

inkers GOLD said...
on Jul. 16 2011 at 3:58 pm
inkers GOLD, Midland, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
"And the lamplight gloating o'er him threw his shadow on the floor... and my soul from out that shadow... shall be lifted, nevermore!" - Poe

There were parts in this that I positively adored. Very lovely work -- I love the idea of it. Congrats on getting published! <3