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Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Biographical · #2249362
Then, now, the journey betwixt. 4-29-2021

Recognition of Self

Sometimes I feel like a fraud;
looking back to Plathian days
when I never worried, or, even thought
about what I couldn't do or
women couldn't do. Never thought there
was anything anyone couldn't do.
Never bothered to ask.

The all-girls finishing school college
where debutants and deb-u-wanna-bies
finessed their skills to keep
erstwhile husbands entertained was
a watering hole along the way
to the highway my free-spirited soul
yearned to travel, notebook in hand.

Notebook, not some fussy journal
like Smith or Bennington grads carried
around in dainty bags that couldn't carry a sneeze.
Wrote, always wrote, interpreted
my world in reams of scribbled lines.
Some flew like autumn leaves, some
made acquaintance with typewriter keys.

Some sent off to scent the possibilities
of this award or that. Some merely smelled
success from afar, the way a good steak
gives aroma to Saturday evening barbeques.
Others brought in the sweetness of carefully
presented desserts: quickly devoured,
quickly forgotten as I went on to the next.

Yet having never delved into despondency,
having never encountered that need,
I never danced with suicide, nor spent time
having my thoughts rearranged into acceptable
patterns. I did my own thing, never worrying
about whether the princess of the mountain
would find her prince. Of course, I would.

But then, it never dawned on me to think
otherwise. I was in no hurry. You can'ts
didn't register because I dd anyway. Learned
being a wife wasn't something I excelled at:
or perhaps it was all in the picking or accepting.
Did better at the mother-thing but never won
any awards for it. Husband now: the grand prize.

Plath had so much angst fighting: throwing
herself against the male-held castles,
trying to break the mirrored glass ceilings
whereas I just snuck in back doors, or
played their games, by their rules, never
caring, really, about bodies or rubbing someone
the wrong, (or perhaps, right) way.

Never worried about the alls in my world,
more the going after my goals. Let the others
worry about theirs. Probably should have
died four or five times over, although that was
never an intent. The free-spirited soul preferred
to fly -- no matter if it broke the purpled-rope rules.
I'll never be a 'Sylvia Plath' --and that is okay.

Never terribly comfortable in my own skin,
rarely stood out, just tried to fit in. Except
for when I didn't and then, it was usually too late
by the time I realized it. Also too late
to bother worrying about the what-ever-it-was.
Decided I'd do me and if that wasn't what the world
wanted; the world could change. I would not.

Walking down linoleumed college hallway,
overhearing discussion of a poem in English class.
The oft used, "What did the poet mean?" phrase
overheard. A soft, hesitant answer, correct I might add,
immediately stomped, firmly by the professor --who
hadn't a clue. My work being discussed in
college classes? My inner scribbler does cartwheels.

So, perhaps, maybe not so much a fraud, after all.
Just different. And, still alive. What good the shattering
of ceilings if you can't stick your head out and enjoy
the view from such rarified air? And yet, I've discovered
the air's a lot clearer down on the ground. Perspectives
on falling. Landings aren't so bad, but the falling is what
is terrifying. Even the best wings need some rest.

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