I wrote this poem upon walking around the streets I grew up on, though not the ones I became a grown-up on. The poem doesn’t feel polished, but I thought I’d post it here anyway and give you a Friday read.
There is a girl, and she is eleven.
She knows what it is to pack up everything you own and see your home as empty. She knows what it is to say goodbye, but how to say hello as well. I want to tell her that making new friends is just as difficult as an adult, maybe even harder. I want to tell her that she gets there, you just have to survive the nights you cry yourself to sleep. They won’t last.
I want to tell her that tea is her favourite drink, but she won’t accept it for a few more years. I want to tell her it’s okay to be yourself, and it’s okay to not know who that is. You’ll grow into it.
The house is no longer empty, but it isn’t full of anything familiar. It’s not her home anymore. The hedge is new and the footpath is new and the lines on the road are freshly painted.
But some things remain, too.
The white gate. The red brick. The light by the front door that used to shine in through her bedroom window. A reminder that good things can’t be extinguished. Neither can the past.
I picture her riding her scooter in the driveway, or walking up the street to school. I wonder if the mango tree is still in the backyard, the one we used to climb. I wonder if it would remember my reaching hands, my unsteady feet. My brother was always better at climbing trees than me.
I tried anyway.
I want to tell her that success is not where you find your worth. I want to tell her that success is not what she thinks it is. She’ll understand after discovering love is not always enough reason to stay, after discovering art that goes unseen is still art, after discovering friends can pull away without explaining why.
You are not a failure.
In fact, I think I’m someone she would be proud of.
Happy Friday, friends! I hope the start of 2021 has been everything you hoped it would be.