Center Stage



April is poetry month, ya’ll…


The soreness of my chest – a reminder of the birth of womanliness. Momma says they’re growing. It’s like your wisdom teeth busting through – painful and itchy.

Got a classmate that’s bigger than Momma even. All the boys tease her. She wears big shirts and sits with her hands folded. Those nasty boys all want to feel on her. They stand by the gym entrance and catch the girls when they walk by. Some girls go the other route, but others walk into this trap everyday and somehow shriek with surprise every time they’re caught. The fast girls all wear bras like badges. They poke their chest out front and their butts out back.

Momma says, Ain’t what makes you a woman, but sure makes you feel feminine. I saw a picture of a woman once who had hers cut off.

Disease took them.

She was bare from the waist up. Her head was bald too. She had a profile like a native princess. The loop earrings she wore touched down to her shoulder. The sunken places in her chest were smoothed out. Then I thought of my classmate covering her fleshly naturalness; how she slinks away like a hunchback with darty eyes and bowed head. Her shoulders collapsed into her frame.

Ignorance took them.

Anyway, I’ll get my bra soon. Momma said I won’t be any different, just growing up that’s all. All I feel is the soreness in my chest.



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