July 26, 2016

For a Girl. {Poem}

277/365 "Poor little skin stretched over poor little bones", martinak15, Flickr

This little girl, she was so small
She grew, she grew up
But she was still so small.
Fortunately for her, she had a brother
He was bigger
She could take care of him
But also
He could be her excuse.

Because as this sweet little girl grew
She grew into a baller
She could play
She could jump
She could catch
And if you ever saw her run
Quick little girl.

She was something to see
And you could see she loved to play
All day long
She barely ate
She barely slept
Her dad showed her how to oil her mitt
She slept with that mitt
She could play.

And in the fall
Watch her fly
With that ball
Under her arm
And watch that little girl
That little girl
With that Great. Big. Arm.
Was her hero
All autumn she would play
She could out run you
She could out gun you
She could play.

Then came the winter
The cold winter in the windy city by the lake
And she shot
And she scored
And she ran
She could run.

But she was waiting
The girl who could run was waiting
For the snow and the ice to melt
Any excuse to play
Running bases
Or bounce and fly
Then finally, finally, finally
Her beloved ball.

This game helped her
She played through her parents split
This game fed her
She played through their indifference
This game saved her
She put her heart into this game because she had nowhere else to put it
She got attention this way
She got love
She knew
Through this play, she was special.

Then she turned eleven
Oh eleven
So young, too young to have those
They separated her
She was no longer the girl who could run
She was the kid who could run very very fast
For A Girl
This phrase followed her
For A Girl
This phrase tormented her
For A Girl
She’d like to be deaf she heard this phrase so much.

Now, when she wanted to play
She had to play with the other girls in a group
She still played with the kids from the neighborhood
But from then on
For A Girl
Would be at the end of every sentence that described her.

She shook it off
She played anyway
She still loved her sport
She loved to catch, throw, run
She could even pitch
She was clutch
She grew with her brother.

To her parents
She was suddenly a nuisance
She made new friends
She loved Madonna
Every girl loved Madonna
Madonna begged to be loved
With whatever she had
Madonna wanted you
To Love Her
The girl could relate
She felt unlovable
So she played where she could,
When she could
And did you ever see her run?
She could run.

She found drinking.
It dulled the pain
For a girl
Her life was becoming
Much duller
For a girl
Then she found boys.
They loved that she could throw,
Catch anything
They liked that she could run.

“Man. Did you see that girl?
She was fast!!
I bet she’ll slow down for me.”

That girl. That sweet little girl.
She wanted love.
She loved that the boys liked to watch her run
In front of them
Around them
Past them
Her friends told her in their sacred girl whispers,
“Let him catch you!”

The girl had not thought to let them catch her
So she did
She slowed
And they caught her
And what happened
Was this strange
And extremely awkward groping dance
That girl
Did not like this.

So she ran
And she caught
And she threw with that
Great. Big. Arm.
And man, her bat was quick
She watched as girls around her
Did the dance of grope
With those poor, awkward boys
But she could not feel them
She could only feel her heart when she played.

So she played
And she did not stop
She played through new brothers and sisters
Marching through her living room
Through step parents who treated her like an obstacle
Through parents who could barely be bothered
To watch their little girl run
Watch her catch, or throw.

One time
One time
One time
When her dad came to watch her play
A man in the stands told him that his little girl was a natural
That he had never seen the like, in a girl
That she could play with the boys if she wanted
Later her father told her what the man had said
She could tell he was proud.
She could feel that love.
That would prove to be one of her very best days.

Soon, a new brother, a man came into her life
Brought by her Mother’s Partner
Her son.
He watched her play
He told her that she was strong
The girl could not believe someone so tall would notice her
She could not believe that someone so beautiful would watch her
Suddenly, the girl had the urge to slow down
Though she knew she shouldn’t
But she wanted love, just like Madonna
She would do anything to get love

And that awkward dance of grope?
That became the secret dance of
Someone will touch me, love me, feel ME
She lost herself in it
In his breath.

He would buy them peach schnaaps
And they would drink and kiss and he showed her
For the very first time
How good it felt
To feel a mans chest
The abominatons
It felt good
It felt so good that she wanted it all the time
The girl who could run?
Was lying down an awful lot.

She stopped calling them the abominations
Nothing that felt so damn good
Could be all that bad
But he was her brother
And a man
And what they were doing was wrong
The first time the girl who could run felt good
It ended
30 years later she would hear about that man
But never
From him.

So the girl who could run ran again
She put herself back into her sport.
She put her heart halfway into it
Hard to put her heart into For A Girl.

The next man, a boy really, showed up
And the girl who could run slowed down again
She knew if she didn’t
Another girl would take her place
Quickly and easily
So she slowed way down
She fell
The girl who could run fell
She told him she loved him
He told her he loved her.

She still played, the girl who could run
But she did not put her heart in to it
She knew she had to choose
She chose him
He loved her
She gave him
The girl who could run
Her heart
He took it
In the haze of the drink and the smoke
and the sex
and the sex
and the sex
The girl who could run


Author: Sarah Young

Image: martinak15/Flickr

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

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