Underneath

At ten years old
she should tuck her braids
behind her ears so the
sun can reach her face.

Her worries should be
keeping her balance
to keep her record
of perfect hop scotch.

She should feel the grass
inbetween her toes as
she collects dandelions
along the stream.

She should be asking
how she can reach
the sweetest berries
on the highest tree.

But quietly in her room
she is burdened with
asking the questions
beginning with why.

Every morning she wakes
reminded quickly of
the weight she feels
on her shoulders.

She has a perfect
record of balancing
conversations with
her younger sister.

At ten years old
she tucks the strap
of her mother’s bra
underneath her sleeve.

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Filed under Poetry

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