Friday, June 11, 2010

As a Barely-blooming Girl of Twelve.

As a barely-blooming girl of twelve,

With freckles and brown straight chin-length hair,

I sat by the pond in my grandparents’ Camelot

And wished that I could talk to animals.


“You can come to me,” I would have said,

“I won’t hurt you. I only want to love you.”

And, I believed, if the animals could only understand,

The small yellow-black birds would sit on my shoulders,

The lean-eyed bobcats would lie at my feet,

And the fat bull-frog tadpoles would swim to the surface

Just to hear me sing.


Now, fourteen years later,

I walk through the tall grass with a kitten on my shoulder.

A lean-bellied black dog follows at my feet,

And a long white cat surfaces briefly from the brush

When I call her name.

I talk to these animals- and they understand me.

And I realize that I got my wish.


Of all the selves I have been,

I think she would have been happiest with who I have become.

Somehow my hair has slipped back into her style.

I don’t think the cosmopolitan me would be pleased with my choices.

The scholarly me would be disappointed,

And the feminist me might actually be appalled.

But she and I both knew that those three were always a little bit silly.

I've always liked twelve-year-old me best anyway.

8 comments:

  1. You were a wonderful twelve year in every way! I miss my 12 year old Sandy...

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  2. Very lovely, and I think you have two poems here. The middle verses seem like one poem, the first and last verse somthing deeper that is wonderful in its own right.
    I would expand and use the first and last verse, make it grow. There is so much depth here.
    But that is just one opinion, and we are all different with our own thoughts and feelings.
    I think your work is beautiful and I particularly related to the last line.

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  3. Dad, I miss her too- I try to be as much like her as I can.

    Carole Anne- Thank you for your kind words. I see what you mean- there are really two major strains in the poem. I think I will probably explore both ideas further in the future.

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  4. I actually heard a psychologist at a leadership conference I attended say that human personality achieves incredible balance when one becomes 11 or 12 years old. Perhaps that is why the TV show is trying to match wits with a fifth grader.
    Once puberty hits we all change in our alter ego leaving behind who we are... hopefully we can get back to our true selves as we mature.

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  5. I think as we mature, we do revert back to be more childlike or at least relate more to children. I see this in the relationship between my dad and my 2 young boys. As always great poem Sandra.

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  6. Are you not still the twelve year old girl? When did you grow? Did I miss it? I think this captures your spirit very well. Keep writing Sandy. Remember practice daily

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  7. Sandy, this is gorgeous! Really! Gave me goosebumps!

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