Youth is a B—

Youth is many things, and in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge I’ve come up with this poem. Enjoy!

An unwanted burden

you carry or

a fruit unharvested,

unripened and rich?

Either way, it’s still a—

The girl running breathless in the snow

the wizened scholar at her oak desk

the nervous painter at his first art show

the determined boy standing at the pitch

Youth remains by your side, a loyal—

But now it eludes you, slips through your creased fingers

hides under pampered cheeks and stylish shoes,

hazarding appearances in soft smiles; never does it linger

leaving only laugh scars where once youth grew.

Hurry, gather what is left and preserve it in a ditch

Too late, it’s already gone, that sneaky—!

Some say youth is a blessing, a birth rite,

a bold stone, weathered not withered by the sea;

the beloved years, the black days, the winged bird in flight

but either way it’s still a B.

Here are some other Backwords thoughts on youth, age and other splendid things:

  1. Ilya Fostiy. Amnesia | Crazy Art
  2. Ilya Fostiy. Muse | The Bliss of Reality
  3. Youth Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  4. The Illusive FEAR of Getting Old | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | In my world
  6. Looking Back (and Traveling) | JGTravels
  7. Thoughts on Aging | melissuhhsmiles
  8. Yelp for help…… | Obsessive Compulsive Running…….
  9. Youth is a B— | The Backwords
  10. Riding Into The Sunrise
  11. Weekly writing challenge- golden years | A picture is worth 1000 words
  12. The Defining Number | Through The Eyes Productions
  13. I am not my mother | Twisting Suburbia
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge – Perspective | Joe’s Musings
  15. Artfully Aspiring
  16. Wisdom of a Toddler | Artfully Aspiring
  17. I Couldn’t Wait | Fish Of Gold
  18. Young or old? Here’s how to tell | The Crayon Files
  19. The Elders of Us | Wired With Words
  20. Aging with grace and acceptance | Ezhealthcents
  21. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  22. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | imagination
  23. Thirsty thirties | Scent of Rina
  24. Weekly Writing Challenge: GOLDEN YEARS | Thinking Languages!
  25. Wholehearted living… One day at a time. | masknolonger
  26. You’re As Old As You Feel | A Day In The Life
  27. Social Media has changed me | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  28. Golden Years | Icezine

My first…

How did your first time feel? Were you anxious, unable to control your desire? Were you nervous and eager to get the whole thing over with? Did you tell anyone, show off to all your family and friends? Or did you keep the knowledge a secret, as if sharing the experience would take away from the special moment?

Well, for me, it happened at school. I remember restlessly waiting for the bus to pull into campus. As soon as it did I rushed off the bus, apologizing as I hurriedly brushed past people. I made it to the student centre, picked up my university’s newspaper, Excalibur, and flipped through the pages until I found it… my FIRST Publication! I was so giddy, I even thought of redistributing the papers amongst the students that whizzed by. I used any conversation I had that day to unabashedly promote my article.

I know it’s nothing big, but here’s the beginning of the piece. It’s on Black History Month and some of my experiences growing up in Toronto. Feedback is welcome, and don’t hesitate to share your firsts with links to your own publications. We”ll save other firsts for another time.

So, without further adieu or misleading sexual references, here’s my article:

The curly, the coily and the kinky

I dug my fingers into a tangle of thick wires that coiled around and bounced off my hand. This time felt different. My fingers weren’t running through straight, thin strands. I realized for the first time, at the age of 16, that my hair was growing.

For years, I had chemically processed my hair. It had become a regular part of my routine. Every two months, as often as someone may cut their hair, I bought a box covered in smiling black girls with smooth, shiny straight hair, and relaxed mine.

The chemical burns were a naturalized exercise of my youth.

Stiff neck, sore scalp, silky hair: I went through the process without hesitation. I’d shiver when the first glob of white creamy crack tickled my scalp; my mother’s hands were always smooth and precise.

It seemed to be a rite of passage for every black girl to shed her kinks and coils as she entered into adolescence. 

I only knew that something undesirable and unacceptable came out of my scalp and needed to be kempt and suppressed.

The rest of the article can be read here.