The Blossoming

Our wills clashed
over the wooden ring I coveted
and bought with my own money
on a family vacation.

What harm? I wondered
while you voiced your vehement disapproval,
leaving me with the typical worn to a nub guilt trip,
“Do what you want if you won’t follow the church’s teachings…”

What we fought
what we fought about, mother,
was more than the circumference of a smooth carved ring

perched cool on my bare finger:

You interpreted my budding breasts
as a kind of treachery,
and all my unadorned fingers

(with their unpainted nails)
couldn’t hide the fact of my blossoming femaleness.

I wore knee socks
with jumpers
longer than anyone else,
pretending not to see my classmates’ shiny nylons
on keen flashing legs,
even while my restless fingers ached to stroke their cashmere sweaters
worn with such brazen ease.

Girls who mattered,
(the ones boys whipped around to check out
when their names rang out
during roll call)

held their manicured hands
in dangled fashion
like bunches of keys
attached to their wispy waists,
by which they gained admittance
to the cool clique with its
ratted hair
kohl rimmed eyes

and tentative petting
(over the clothes only) in cold  back seats.
Having nothing to prove
( for they had no need to earn their worth)
they could afford to set rules,
could dare to boldly cut their eyes
at panting boyfriends
and patiently slap away square hands
fumbling with nylon encased flesh.

You often accused me of stealth–
but I was not the sneak, mother,
not the pilferer
or thief.
I wanted
only what was mine:

to blossom naturally
without the topic of  my puberty
being the theme of jesting dinner time conversation.

For oh!  There are so many means
of hobbling daughters.
One has only to convince them
of their ugly pinched selves
while shoving begrudged flesh
into drab dresses and childish, outgrown jumpers
meant to hide a burgeoning beauty.

One has only to deny
the blossom on the rose
and, come twilight,
wilting has set in,

and with it
a kind of root rot
for which there is no cure.

Drooping, the head lolls
and caves in on itself,
Becomes another sort of obscenity:

the obscenity of beauty deliberately destroyed.

Thus decapitated
thus hobbled,
I knelt beside my bed,
knobby knees  stabbing the hardwood floor like knives,
my body swaying slightly with the wanting of it
knowing it was hopeless to ask
(but– in for a pound in for a penny:)

Dear God,
may I please
please may I wear my ring,

and not go to hell for it.

Amen.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 01:35PM by Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer in , , | Comments3 Comments

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Reader Comments (3)

Dear Beauty

your poetry is very powerful, it really does make us speechless.

bless you, sending safe hugs ((((Beauty))))

keepers

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkeepers

Oh, the awfulness of jests at adolescence…

Do you still have that ring?

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

For Christmas I hope you buy yourself a ring – call it a promise ring – a promise to yourself to be true to yourself and love yourself as you are.

Your poetry is amazing – these words especially, touched me “to blossom naturally
without the topic of my puberty
being the theme of jesting dinner time conversation.”

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEnola

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