Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pubescent Swan Song

It's true: I do not have daughters--which made me awfully hesitant to write a book about them. My publisher thought it should be a piece of cake: I'm a daughter...I had a mother...what was the big deal?

In any case, I didn't need a daughter to write this poem; anyone who has ever been an adolescent girl remembers those roller-coaster days in vivid detail. This seemed a good choice to juxtapose against yesterday's cotillion chronicle--sort of a "prequel," if you will.

2010 Poetry Parade: Day 29

Ode to a Young Girl's Metamorphosis
Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

It's what they call "the awkward stage"--
that purgatory before hormones rage,
when everything's sprouting except self-esteem,
(which is hurtling downhill with a full head of steam).
Your hair's stupid, you say; you feel weird in your clothes.
You're too old for socks; you're too young for hose.
If only your body could spin a cocoon--
a safe place to hide till you feel more in tune
with all of the havoc that Nature hath wrought.
(And emerging a beauty? Now there's a nice thought!)
The best news I have is that when this has passed,
you'll stop seeing yourself as a social outcast
and rise like a phoenix from hormonal ashes
to straighten your shoulders and flutter your lashes.
The new you will light up your old mise-en-scénes
like bright morning sun lights up cold, dreary dawn.
So be patient, my dear! It won't be very long
till the "you" you don't like gets to sing her swan song.

From Dancing with My Daughter: Poems of Love, Wisdom & Dreams (Loyola Press)
Used here with the author's permission.

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