PIGTAILS

I never wanted to grow up–

While my friends dreamed of

Cars and

Boys and

Freedom

I was content with my dolls

And my daydreams

And Elmo.

I wore pigtails with pride

And romped the world,

Gathering dandelions,

Riding bikes,

Shying away from boys.

But we all age

Regardless of

Whether we want to or not.

Six became seven and eight and nine …

I found my spot at twelve, grew a few inches at thirteen.

I had my first foolish crush at fourteen

And by fifteen I had tossed him away and

Declared myself a spinster.

Then sixteen came around

And I met him.

The quiet boy, good looking, but not flashy.

I didn’t know what to think of him at first

But then I thought

Gah–he could never like me.

And that’s when I grew up.

Sixteen stretched on for a mighty while.

I thrived then because there was

No tension,

No possibility.

But then …

Could it be possible?

Oh, why must we grow up?

Why do we trade our

Trees for dreams of brick houses;

Our ponies for minivans;

Our baby dolls for real, live babies that have “our eyes” and “his nose.”

Why must the princes become

A single boy–

A silly, oblivious boy

Who dreams of wrangling clouds?

He dreams not of

Children and

Houses and

Love.

Oh yes, he knows it’s in the future.

But he’s content.

Why can’t I be content?

Why do things become so

Complicated

When we age?

We thought maturity brought

Freedom

But it doesn’t.

It brings shackles–

The shackles of uncontrollable love,

Of tears that wet pillows behind closed doors,

Of memories from silly things thrown at us from day to day.

We are in

Bondage–

Bondage to our age, to our stupid fantasies,

To the boy who thinks less of us

Than we do of him.

NO.

I will not age any further.

Give me my baby dolls,

My tree houses,

My fantasies;

I want my ponies,

And my pigtails,

The scraped knees

And the splinters.

I want the prince

That never came

And that never will.

Amanda