Friday Nite Poetry: Still Becoming Me

It’s early, but technically it is in the PM so I am calling it “nite.” A lot of thoughts bouncing around; about my past, my identity, where I am going. I may never figure it out, and some of it hurts, but damn is it fun trying.


I’m nine years old on Reliance Street
and it is my first day of cub scouts
dozens of boys from half a dozen troops
and I am not sure where I fit in

There is no desire to be there
the blue shirts and caps with gold trim
are not for me
that is not the look I want

I dream a little of brown or green jumpers
and sashes lined with badges
and I have no idea what it all means
but I know to keep quiet
I know it is weird

Don’t hate me
don’t hate me
the way I hate myself

Less than a decade later in summer
in a different house
my sibs playing outside and mom and dad at work
and I have the house all to myself

I am so clever and sneaky
having locked the door and having a ready excuse
as I slip into mom’s work clothes
her blue dress suit and new stockings

A moment’s panic as the run widens
heart racing at the thrill and fear of discovery
the pounding at the door distracts me
and my hands shake as I put it all away

Don’t hate me
don’t hate me
the way I hate myself

Partying for Halloween in my first apartment
and the two babes we hang with
do my hair and make up
and I feel like a princess but I never say

It is all a joke
a gag for the impending celebrations
the perfect camouflage for an evening’s honesty
turned into a bittersweet lie

I put on something bought without thought
snatched off a hanger at the VOA
gaudy and anachronistic
and poor fitting like this skin I wear

Don’t hate me
don’t hate me
like I hate myself

Missing mom and knowing now
the lie clutches my heart and tears at my mind
and for the first time I find
a soul to confide in

I am dizzy and drunk on new possibilities
finding a new black dress for a new Halloween
still not ready to tell you all
my real name or show my real face

It is there though
almost ready
almost me
and I dread and yearn for all the outcomes ahead

Don’t hate me
don’t hate me
the way I hate myself

The closet is empty now
nothing to hide because there is nothing there
I need to do some shopping
but you all know that now

Entire worlds are not ready for me
and I do my best to acquiesce
knowing it is not what I need
but what I need right now

Despair and hope dance as I plan
I will rebuild what has been lost
a skirt here a blouse there
to be a better me with all of you

Please love me
please love me
as I have learned to love myself



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