Autobiogaphy | Teen Ink


June 16, 2011
By Michelle Ma BRONZE, Corona, California
Michelle Ma BRONZE, Corona, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was born in ‘93
In a city I don’t remember
My early years were a haze
Of frequent baths and loud voices

At 12 I thought I was transcendent
Middle school was
Tetherballs and hot concrete
I wrote my name on my gym shorts with a Sharpie

I don’t use Sharpies anymore
But once a year, to label my boxes “miscellaneous,”
And tape them up to store
For a summer

The rest of the year
I write with a ballpoint pen, black or blue,
Pencil when it’s math

I’ve been to Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and France
But all I remember was this: constant walking and
The rain jacket my mother bought me from a French department store

In ’05 Holden stole my heart
In ’06 I gave it to Sergeant X
In ’07 it was Salinger himself
He lived in New Hampshire, they say, a quiet life that I admired

Until I found Orwell
And his treatise on politics and the English language
Then I wanted to save the world
From evils that I can’t remember

At 16 I heard the Dalai Lama speak,
In a baseball stadium in Boston
They gave him a white baseball cap
The Red Sox
It sat atop his bald head
And he smiled
I perked my ears to hear
Him speak his secret

In ’95 my mother crossed the ocean
She loved her country but left it
She hates the Dalai Lama
For political reasons

In ’08 I boycotted the Olympics
I read Thornton Wilder while my parents watched TV
They beckoned, but I refused

Woody Allen once said
You can live to be a hundred
If you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred
I love Woody Allen films but my mother thinks I should watch less TV
Unless it’s the Olympics

I would have resented my mother
Had I discovered Annie Hall in middle school
But I know better now
Or so I will think
Until next year

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

purpleflame said...
on Jul. 9 2011 at 12:19 am
How old is this girl? She has such a unique and honest tone, which is so rare for teenagers. Most of the stuff published in Teen Ink is sentimental and trite, but this is different. This belongs among the big boys.

on Jul. 1 2011 at 9:26 pm PLATINUM, Ceres, California
42 articles 0 photos 93 comments

This is a brilliant poem. I just loved it. It's very inspiring.