Fiona L. // THEY SAID THAT I COULDN’T

They said that I couldn’t draw anything,

but the trees,

the landscapes,

the faces.

 

They said that I had to write

in complete sentences,

so I found a noun, a verb, an idea

and combined the clauses.

 

They said that I couldn’t use my hands in soccer,

so I dropped the ball

and tripped

over my cleats.

 

They said that I couldn’t wear jeans

to the piano recital,

so I put on my only dress

and hid

behind the curtains.

 

They said that art couldn’t be anything but pretty,

to be perfectly symmetrical and shaded realistically,

so my pencil dragged along gray graphite

and I crumpled

my collection of scribbles into the trash.

 

They said that I couldn’t wander

off the trail, into the field of brilliant yellow flowers.

Their petals turned to marvel at the sun,

whose intangible rays promised freedom,

but I focused my eyes

on the dirt path

and I slumped

among the trees.

 

They said that I couldn’t.

 

So I didn’t.

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