Once, I used to peer from behind the bushes
listening widely for imagined conversations.
Now those conversations envelop me,
they’re layers of tales I have piled on my arms
and sheets clenched in my fists.
Once, I queried to indulgent laughter
"I wanna be sixteen by December!"
Now time has trudged on manicured years,
my questions became punctuated by silence;
I learnt to use the same to articulate my answers.
Once, I was a little girl hoisting all
her aspirations onto a rainbow pedestal.
Now I’ve taken them and pushed them in a bag:
rationed hope I must aggressively protect.
I lifted one in a rainbow balloon and watch it with my heart.