Something New

I wanted to try something new

so I parted my hair on the side

one summer Saturday when I was fourteen.

The small act of self-government

was like my first baby step, wobbly, worrisome,

and very courageous.

My braids had held me back I determined,

so to advance my adolescent adventures,

I looked in the mirror and decided

to change the style of my hair

and borrow my Mother’s black bathing suit with

36-C cups and a girdle tight fit.


Like woven rubber bands, the suit

squeezed my chubby tummy, cut into my thighs,

and coddled my baby fat breasts.

Ahhh! But my hair looked fine,

and fell past my brow, into my eye.

and the breeze ruffled my curls.

I waited alone on the warm plushy beach,

my towel clumped beneath my body

held captive in my Mother’s black suit.

Waves crashed and calmed, gulls snacked and napped,

the sun melted west, but

no new attentions came my way.

My matted hair fell damp, my thighs rubbed sand, sweat trickled

between my reddened breasts, and

my caged stomach growled.


I ordered a cheeseburger with mayo at the snack bar,

and a chocolate milkshake to drink.

I pulled the hair away from my eye,

tucked it firmly behind my ear

and on another brave whim,

I refused the French fries,

for I felt quite strong that day

and ready to try something new.