by Elaine Sorrentino
ON MY HONOR
One size-nine foot stuck in childhood,
the other straddles adolescence,
tumultuous early teen years, seeking validation.
Where do I belong?
I WILL TRY
My right arm, tugged into obedience, shrieks
be loyal, responsible, courteous, predictable;
I am a rule follower, a Girl Scout, it’s all I know,
predictable, always choosing the right path.
TO DO MY DUTY
My left arm, yanked with such intensity
it nearly hangs from its socket, the blossoming me
the new version longing to be unique, sensual, confident,
fancies action reflecting my changing mind and body.
TO GOD AND MY COUNTRY
The desire to pursue the real me yearnings battles
the desire to obey the trustworthy acceptable directives,
high school calls, decisions are imminent.
Will I live the coming years obedient or authentic?
TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES
In my heart I want to be sultry, gravelly-voiced Carly,
or my version of her, warbling about teen angst and lost loves
from behind a piano, trading Kumbaya for You're So Vain;
but in my uniform I forget how to dream.
AND TO OBEY THE GIRL SCOUT LAWS
So, I don my ill-fitting uniform for a final stare,
unfasten the award badges and pins from the sash,
peeling away layers of rules to uncover my true self;
newly liberated from the trusty roadmap
I dance with exhilaration down an uncharted path.
* * * * *
Elaine Sorrentino is Communications Director at South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA, where she creates promotional and first-person content for press and for a blog called SSC Musings. Facilitator of the Duxbury Poetry Circle, she has been published in Minerva Rising, Willawaw Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Writers’ Magazine, The Writers Newsletter, Haiku Universe, Failed Haiku, and has won the monthly poetry challenge at wildamorris.blogspot.com.
Saturday 13 March 2021