OKAY

Things are a-changing;
It’s time to grow up . . .
But what if I don’t want to?
What if I’m not ready?
They’re pushing me out of the nest
Forcing me to spread my wings
I’m crying out, resisting,
And now I’m falling.
My life flashes before my eyes;
It’s short
Because I haven’t lived long enough.
I stretch out my wings;
It stings,
It hurts.
I wish I didn’t have to
But I do.
And before I know it,
I’m flying.
I crash into a few branches,
Hit a few bugs,
But I’ve got the jist of it.
And I have a friend
Who will guide me along
With infallible directions.

So I’m okay–
I’m okay.

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YOUTH

Please don’t grow up,
Little girl.
Don’t forget about
Your tutus and
Fairy wands
And tiaras
And hopes of Prince Charming.
Please don’t
Lose your bright-eyed
Anticipation
Of Christmas.
Don’t forget about
The land of dreams
You made up
In your youth.
Don’t let your
Stuffed animals’ names be
Forgotten.
Don’t trade your dolls for
Music and clothes.
Don’t fall asleep crying
Because of expectations.
Don’t let your dreams die
Because they won’t make money.
Don’t give your heart
To a boy
Who’ll never come around.
Stay young.
Fight for your youth.

May you never see the
Storms amid rainbows; the
Trolls around fairies; the
Monsters among men.

Amanda

SONG

The wind whipped my hair.

The car flew down a hill;

I closed my eyes.

The driver flipped the radio on:

It was a SONG–

A song my mom wouldn’t approve of.

I wriggled in my seat,

The teenagers giggled.

“What, you don’t like it?”

I shook my head.

Of course I liked it.

It spoke to my heart.

It spiked through my blood

Like a beautiful poison

Made just for me.

The notes and rhythm moved my limbs

In a way nothing else ever had.

I was one with the music.

“Yes,” I replied.

“I like it.”

And I lost a bit of myself

That day.

Years later

A car pulls into the driveway.

I climb in

And that SONG

Is playing again.

I’ve changed so much.

I no longer feel guilty

Tapping my foot to the beat,

Convulsing in my seat,

Mouthing the words.

They speak to me

Like no other words can.

The music is a language,

My language,

A language I always knew

I would know someday.

And I can’t help but think

How different I am now

And wonder

If it’s good

Or if it’s bad.

Amanda

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