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
but most of all
I learnt that
is spread much too thin.