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 Pages Of A Woman's Soul


The first time I ever felt
how cruel the world could be
was in fifth grade

new girl in school…again

tenuously, trying to make friends
got snubbed…
even worse, got teased
crying in confusion because

I'd never been cruel to anyone
so I didn't understand

wasn't aware of the hierarchy of
elementary schoolgirl crushes
or the backlash it could
cause when a boy
liked you and
not her

mom tenderly soothed my feelings

Next year,
another school

blossoming feelings
learning about becoming
a woman…so strange, exciting

a little scary

wondering why my dad  was so upset
when while innocently chasing a
stray beach ball in my first
cute, gingham two piece

a teenaged boy stopped to help me

only being eleven meant I didn't think
of myself in sexual terms yet,
not knowing there were
those who could…          

Then there were the nights my folks
and their best friends sat around
on summer nights talking
another Kennedy gone
a preacher named King

frightening things being said about riots

only fifty miles from Detroit in 1968
there was talk of what might happen if
the violence visited my home town
what our fathers would do to
protect us from harm

but nothing of the sort ever occurred
for us and life went on as it should
for a little, blonde, white girl

and just when I was beginning
to feel like I fit in, halfway through
my seventh grade year, we moved again…

It wasn't the thing a pre-teen girl
wanted to hear; it was the first time
I wanted to cry but couldn't,
being twelve and all

because my parents were trying to better us

thank God for my discovery,
thank Him for the bookmobile,
thank my grandfather for sharing
one of his great loves

it was that year I discovered poetry in print
bought my first tome, and fell in love…

with Longfellow

successively with others
over and over

Then I found I had a voice
penned my thoughts
and never

looked back

K. Tate Jacoby
copyright April 7, 2012

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