But not 17
When I was thirteen
I cut my hair too short,
and got that camera I wanted
and I wept into my mothers shoulder
because I didn't feel fufilled.
I remember a lot of blood
on both of my brothers knees;
a skid down a hill
and a bent bycicle frame,
and I cried far more than he did,
but for myself,
but for silence.
11 I was too young,
and 12 too young,
and 15 far older than anyone ever wanted me to be.
And on 17 I heard three crooked words
that didn't mean much of anything
and I slept in an old house alone for the first time,
a house where I am supposed to feel the presence of kind ghosts
and wooden wardrobes
and the smell of dried cranberries
and stale pages of books I'll never read.
I was glad to sleep next to the thought of Louise,
but my mind was filled with those three crooked words,
and a soreness I felt elsewhere.
Sometimes I feel like
with arms spreading the length of this farm,
and an embrace that could warm me
and wrap myself inside of myself, hundreds of times over.
But then I sink back into my innocence
and that big gaping woman inside me
holds on to that thirteen year old buzzed cut girl in my depths.
I sink back,
and I am 17
and on this birthday,
for the first time,
I have something real to weep about,
but my arms stayed folded,
and my eyes stayed dry.