“I’m Not the Girl I Thought I’d Be” – a poem

Written in 2012

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

with the pigtails and the bows in her hair

behind walls of naivete

peeking out, looking at the forest world

wide-eyed, longingly, dreamily

Pretending to be a princess on a tall hill

hiding from dragons and beasts wicked witches had created to corrupt my beauty

I always thought a prince would save me

The sky was blue

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

growing out of high waters into a world of shallow, narcissistic lakes with

hormone-filled, acne faced, metal mouthed

adolescents

With a gym locker full of cosmetics because beauty had to be tainted in order to be

noticed, adored, praised

I braved that lake

fighting words that followed like a bumblebee

Those words stung

But, still I sharpened my tongue

throwing it carelessly at their stingers

Sword to sword

Gun to gun

Bomb to bomb

All of a sudden, I didn’t feel like that princess at the top of a hill

I tumbled down

back hitting the grass

face rolling over the dirt that would get in my mouth

It tasted bitter and made me thirsty

for more

but for more of what?

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

Leaving the shallow waters of middle school to sail on a bigger sea

a deeper sea

My ship had rugged sails and a rusty rudder

I watched as the wind navigated me as a sailor to his crew

The trip was a growth spurt to my weakened body

full of blisters and sores

I walked and reached out my hands to the new world I had heard of

a world of myths and created things

Instead of water to quench my dry mouth, I was offered poison from a boy’s lips

not a prince but a joker in disguise

I grabbed the poison greedily

I was fooled into giving him the secrets of a kingdom I had once belonged to

I watched alertly as he climbed the hill to the castle

toppling over walls lined with thorns

I was hopeful he’d have the golden key to the large wooden doors

Instead, the childhood monsters defeated him

his flimsy body rolled down the hill

limb after limb after limb

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

Fleeing a stormy sea for a cavern of wonders

deep underground

where only the sound of silence knew

my name, my whispers, my voice

I watched and explored, pondering the Earth above

It was, amongst all things

peaceful

Though the cold air was, at times, on the edge of bearable

I continued

climbing, searching

The water dripping from crevices and cracks turned into ponds

It tasted sweet

but there was never enough

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

Hiking out of the cavern to see the sun through my strained eyes,

grown accustomed to the darkness

The heat seeped through my skin, burned my feet

causing me to dance along the pavement

The pavement turned into a ballroom lined with oil paintings of my closeted ghosts

The paintings made them beautiful

like reading a book wondering where the characters will escapade to next

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

interrupted in a ballroom from my sleep

Interrupted by a hand gently brushing my cheek

turning my bruised and dirty face to a set of

sparkling eyes, loving features, an inviting smile

pointing me towards the clear glass window

Outside is

a blue sky, a yellow sun, dewy grass

a tall hill

The gentle hand leads me up the hill

walking with me at my pace

my slow, hesitant pace

When my shabby, tired knees collapse

his strong arms carry me

I feel light in his arms

smell the scent of his soft skin

He walks boldly up the hill, pushing aside rocks with his feet

The dragons and beasts from wicked schemes do not come near

Instead, they tremble and make way for His kingly stride

When we reach the wooden doors, scraped and scratched

my curious heart sinks

When I see the metal lock, shining and glimmering in the sun

I remember the key

But where has it gone?

Was it lost among the bumblebee’s stings?

Did it sink while atop the broken sea?

Thrown out of a joker’s stumbling hands?

Topple down a cavern into a dark, empty abyss?

My mind races

My head sinks into my carrier’s shoulders

Suddenly

I hear a fountain

Yes! A fountain of fresh water

My head turns from the warm shoulders and I am overwhelmed

The wooden doors have been opened

In my prince’s hands is a key

a golden key

Though my heart is singing and my strength returning, I let him carry me to the fountains

springing up and around

relentless

My blistered feet drop to the cool waters

I kneel down to sip in its life

This is the water I need

My dehydration fades and I face my rescuer

Neither of us speaks but his stature tells me he

understands my joy, comprehends my gratitude, and empathizes with my redemption

He laughs aloud from the glory

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

I’m not the girl I thought I’d be

What do you think?