Monday, November 8, 2010

I wear myself differently now

“Pretty is as pretty does,”
my grandmother said,
and I learned
to be the girl who does pretty
and was pretty
and did pretty
in everything, and knew that to
be pretty
do pretty and
make pretty
good friends, you have to
be pretty good and
make your parents
pretty proud and
have nice fingernails because
pretty girls have nice fingernails,
my grandmother told me.

“Actions speak louder than words,”
was another adage repeated
so I learned
to be the girl who acted loudly and
spoke softly and
knew what to do
and how to do it in actions but
couldn’t form the words or find the voice because
the actions were what counted and
the voice behind could be silent,
humble, and
unassuming. Just
leave the rest for those who
have something to say, I thought, because
I’m the girl who
does pretty
good things and has pretty
fingernails, you see. The
action of compassion
was the only thing that mattered
and stories didn’t get told because I believed
actions were louder
than voice.

But the layered
truths of my life
spread themselves thicker and thicker
moving me from pretty
good stories to pretty
strong thoughts to,
pretty much just
“what the fuck?”
and I can’t get to the center
of my stomach
where the layers lie
covering the truth that cannot be told
where the pretty
brutal fact that
life isn’t always pretty
lives. It’s the pit where you know
friends can betray you and where
having pretty actions,
pretty words, and a pretty face
can lead you to a pretty
horrible evening, where the
loudness of your actions
is ignored, the
loudness of your words means
nothing at all,
and you spend the next
seven months
biting your nails, wondering
if you’ll ever be a
pretty girl

Pretty used to glow
like an innocence on my skin
and my actions served as vehicles
curating my soul
exposing the hidden beauty
of a pretty confident woman
with words that whispered of amazement
revealing my faith in the people of my world.
I wear myself differently now
casting off the prettiness
holding the confidence
with bated breath
hiding the strength of my voice
where the prettiness used to be
immobilizing my actions
in the fear
named Aftermath
hoping one day I’ll wear myself
as something undeniably


  1. Oh! You will! And you have! .. Peace ...

  2. Both you and your writing are undeniably beautiful!!! This is just awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. You are beautiful. You'll remember that again someday.