Unlearning

Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

Editor’s Note: The following featured poetry is written by 18-year-old Christine Ji from Massachusetts, USA.

six years old
and i enjoy dressing up
in glittery gowns and crystal shoes
trips to the toy store
where i gawk at barbies
and calico critter homes

eight years old
and i am in art class
there are cooties in the air
us girls have a monopoly
on the pink and red paint
the boys the blue and green

ten years old
and i hate the color pink
and princesses too
having tasted the words in the air
i do not want to run scream
be like a girl

thirteen years old
and self consciousness hums
nonstop in my brain
i am not skinny pretty
or white enough
for the girls in the mall windows

sixteen years old
and i am confused
frustrated and angry
at our crumbling society
built from our
insecurities and oppression

eighteen years old
and i have a slow fire
burning in my bones
it is okay to have been wrong
to unlearn and forgive yesterday
and make tomorrow rise from the ashes