Ignoring the NaPoWriMo prompt for today, I feel compelled to free-write on twelve. My youngest daughter turns twelve today, and I can't help but be a bit introspective.
Twelve was a good year, decent enough for
Having been completely uprooted from my idyllic,
Slow, southern drawl, country girl existence
And set down abruptly in the middle of upper crust
Old Republican money horse country Northern Virginia.
Sixth grade was a mishmash of discomfort and discoveries
Oh, shopping for clothes in thrift stores is not cool
Oh, brand names are cool (but I never figure why),
Oh, we're like some of the poorest people on our block,
Oh, I have little breasts growing in,
Oh, the porno mag that some classmate stole from his dad's closet
Shocking my brain at recess one late spring afternoon.
And there were horses and stables,
Friends with in-ground pools and three-story stone mansions,
Homes For Sale In the Low $500,000s.
Everyone's father worked for the military, or the government, or large private corporations.
I barely had a clue
I spent hours choreographing dance and gymnastics routines
Running through the woods, discovering, pretending, hiding,
Collecting old glass milk bottles and other abandoned relics with
Stories to tell of some time long since gone,
I listened to these stories while rooting up salamanders and turtles by the creek
Twelve and not yet cynical,
Forever dreaming of some sort of being free.