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