Once, as a child, my teacher called me “sour grapes”.
Instead of letting the hammer hit the nail again
I bounced her words back like a metal trampoline
And told her she could eat them; I’m just expressing myself.
Once, in middle school, a boy rubbed my leg
Without asking my permission. I stood up
In front of the class, asked him if there’s a problem,
If maybe he’d forgotten which legs were his.
Once, in high school, my youth pastor told me
My heart was made of construction paper and
Ripped so easily I’d leave pieces behind in the chests of others.
I showed him the holes filled in by what they’d given me in return.
Once, in college, the chaplain told me I was suffering
Because I had unforgiven sins weighing on my heart.
I tore open my gut and laid out my scarred insides,
I left him with the pain and dis-enrolled that day.
Once, as an adult, three men in a pick-up truck
Whistled and honked as I walked to work.
Ten a.m., basked in sunlight, I grew to ten feet tall,
Chased them down, and slashed their tires.
Once, I imagined I had superpowers
Once, I was respected and not vulnerable.
Once, my body was my own to control.
Once, I stood up for myself.
Once, I forgave myself, for all the things
I wished I’d said and done.
Thank you, Nicole Homer.