I Don’t Cry Much Anymore

My womanhood thus far has been roses and scorn,

full of the trials of not-texting-back and

the chalky taste of multivitamins and not fitting in.

 

“I am …”, I thought at ten, “… a shy girl,”

that’s me, “a shy girl who likes animals.”

 

And now I’m not sure if I like men.

Or this* man,

or graduating early,

or getting too thin.

 

I was taught the subtle art of

arched back, chin up,

one eye on the rear-view kids,

one eye along the road ahead;

trained in graceful knuckles run across

a loved one’s head.

I’m an expert in quiet frustration,

in keeping it in.

And I stopped believing in pain

when my mother caved in.

 

I learnt to worry at the door,

and on the phone,

and in the car.

I learnt the colors of the rainbow

on my knuckles.

I learnt the value of

women,

but most of all

I learnt that

tenderness

is spread much too thin.

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