Once I was…

Once I was a girl

whose hair flapped back

as I bounced on a chair,

or so I’m told.

Once I was a girl

whose legs splayed out

on the seat of a digger,

on the sand of a shore,

in the trunk of a tree,

with joy in my smile

as I lived life

wrapped in a blanket of love.

Once I was a girl

whose voice was loud,

unmistakable and unbound.

Once I was a girl

whose voice felt trapped,

uncertain and undermined.

Once I was a woman

lost in doubt,

in shadows cast by minds

that were not my own,

in demands,

expectations,

and judgements.

Once I was a woman

who found herself once more,

in the listening faces of women,

in the pages of books,

in words formed with a pen

with my very own hand,

in the shelter of trees

and in taking a stand.

Once I was a woman

who realised that life

is a journey of lost and found

on the way home to myself.

Images from my childhood that inspired stanza 2 of this poem

Inspired by a prompt in ‘How to write poetry’ by @chrissalerno and @kelseahabecker to write a poem that begins with the phrase, ‘Once I was’, from Morgan Parker’s poem, ‘The Book of Genesis’, considering your own beginnings or foundations.

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