I turned nineteen today and finished this poem in the car while on my way to celebrate with friends. Growing up is a daunting task, but so is growing apart from who you used to be and who you used to visualize yourself as whilst aging. I don’t perceive myself so poorly anymore.




I thank my roots

For growing from

Imperfect weather patterns and learned helplessness


Obviously is too harsh a word

      Obviously you should try harder

      Obviously your feelings are hurt

Well,    obviously, not everything is written on my bedroom door

And     obviously you should find a synonym


Ask me what town I’m from

I’ll tell you

I’m from

Toilet lids,

A strategic game and

Arriving early

All of the above in urgency


I’m from movement

Sometimes lack thereof

See me in

Potential and

My mother’s face

Chewing on words instead of sustenance

Find me as vexing as scum

In your open wound

But far less noticeable

Hear me

I’m from a loud voice

Presented as a miniscule sea shell with the ocean

Inside it


My grandmother likes to mark her

Grandchildren’s heights against

Her wobbly basement door

One poignant

Fight from falling off

Its hinges

Every time I stood

Against it

A ruler and a pencil scuffled my hair

And once my eye

And the

Thought of one day growing up

Worried me, though


What petrifies me

Is growing        apart

From all of’s and from’s,

And obviously


With love, Alyssa

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