I’d sound out the letters when I’d write them

Tiny hand flexed ungracefully around a crayon.

Words, form from bold strokes.

Cracking through letters come,

Wonky and warp on the paper-

They are sprawled  out in a excited spaced out jumble

 And I, just wrote my name!

When I was young I never paid  any attention to my name.

It was Colleen- and it meant me.

Why would my name mean something else other than me?


I whisper to myself

Fingers carefully carrying the pen across the page.

Like a bird

Curving loops, dips, and dives appear on paper

There's a person beside me,

And they tsked their tongue

At the scramble of loopy letters.

It was in 6th grade when I learned that names have meaning behind them.-

We had a class project about it.

Who are you? What does your name mean?

Mine meant “girl.”


Letters in my head, 

Now always in my head.

Fingers peck at keys,

Words form,

And so does unsatisfactory results

My name meant “girl.”

Imagine just for a sec:

A hospital room, 

white, sterile and bright.

A baby screams as they enter the world.

Then, they are swaddled in a pink blanket that is much too tight.

Wings clipped,

And they are given a name that means only “girl.”⭐


Lips flap, fumbling to find the right syllables,

Unsteady on new wings.

Speech seemingly inchorent and speaker with a light lisp,

So increasingly self conscious.

My mother fusses and pulls correcting the pleats of my dress.

We walk hand in hand down the church isle.

A flurry of boys zoom by us in gleeful exuberance.

I stand to go and join them,

But my parents tell me to stay quiet

And sit still like a 


I can hear the boys running, 

Footsteps like a battering of wings.


Seven letters to define the entirety of me, 

Spoken out loud by me,

But between the letters 

make no mistakes,

there are cracks.

Dashes, carry letters

Fingers peck,

And gaps grow.

Sometimes, I slip on the dips and curves of the letters 

Of myself, 


I still stand.


More than just another girl

but a furious beating of words and wings



This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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