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Poetry

Autobiography of a Girl

I remember waking up 

on a lounge chair 

beside the sea 

on an island 

in the Philippines 

after a night of partying 

 

and although that makes me sound like a reckless good-for-nothing

I knew that I had found the meaning of life 

in the salty air 

that filled my nostrils 

as I breathed deeply

and gave thanks to the universe

for being alive in this moment. 

 

I do not remember 

the first time I cried 

over a lover

although I think I may have been 9 years old

and I was ashamed 

because I thought my mother would punish me

for liking that boy

when I was too young to have a boyfriend

but more importantly

I was ashamed

because I only said I liked him

because my friends said it was “cool” 

to have crushes on boys.

 

I am looking at 

the cross-stitched alphabet

that my grandmother Mary made in 1946

and the jungle of animals that jump within the frame.

 

When my uncle gifted it to me

he thought I would like it 

“because it looks teachery and she was a teacher too” 

but when I look at it 

all I can think about is

how desperately she wanted to leave the teaching profession

and how it is now my turn to leave it

to make her proud,

the grandmother I never met.

 

I am not looking at

myself in the mirror, per se, 

but rather I am looking for

the person I would like to be. 

 

I am thinking of 

quitting my job, 

running away,

moving to another country

 

but I have done that before

so it’s no longer an adventure.

 

Now the real thrill of life

is coming home to 

the same cat every night. 

 

I am not thinking of 

staying stagnant forever,

but I have found that 

the only way to appreciate movement

is through

purposeful stillness. 

 

I am

a woman

a lover

a Libra

a dreamer 

and many more things

that I am still learning

 

I am not 

your daydream

your employee

your plaything

or anything else.

 

I want to be heard.

I don’t want to be forgotten. 

 

I feel too many things

in the span of a single day

 

but

 

I don’t feel

guilty for any of it. 

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by marybwrites

I am a teacher, a traveler, a lover, a writer, and above all, a dreamer. I dream of worlds unknown and worlds to come, and I believe in the life changing power of stories and art to awaken humankind to our individual soul’s purpose in life. My editor-in-chief is my cat Ezra, but she frequently adds meaningless strings of letters to my writing whenever she gets her paws on the keyboard.


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