Growing Up

Angela Law

Smith College

When I was younger I wanted to become a writer

I didn’t realize it rose out of loneliness

Or that my mouth would be full of words that had no navels

My sewing needle has thread too short to make a knot

The only jobs I qualify for require banter that does not end

Smiles that have no meaning

My life is just beginning when young women talk about marriage, husbands, children

I am no longer a child

I am no longer a girl

I see the snow falling outside

And I imagine myself like other women

I am not like the other young women I sit next to in lectures

I used to think Ivory Tower meant theories trapped in a tower taught by old white men with no practical application

Most of what I learn cannot solve social ills

I learned more about racism than I had in a lifetime through my straight white roommate

She told me what to call people like me and educated me about politics

I am neither straight or white nor care much for politics

I just want to live my life as a tiger lily growing in foreign soil with just enough shade to thrive

(Out of the shade and out of the sun)

Magnified a thousand times I will bloom to an indifferent sky and perish

The life others thought I should live