If My Mind Was a Book

If you were to turn my mind into a book
you would discover
dog-eared pages full of bright-eyed hopes for the journey
I’m embarking on,
and the sloppy notes
on what I should
bring along with me.

You would read about the time
I kicked my teacher’s door because
I wanted to make sure she knew how angry
I was about not being able to stay inside and finish my drawing of a polar bear during recess.

You would chuckle about how every night
at the age of six I would pray to God
to make me a horse
because that was my idea of a perfect career.

You would learn of the raging jealousy
I sometimes feel when the boys look at other girls,
and the quick-to-follow shame
as the red rushes to my face
because good Christian girls
don’t dare to think of such things.

You would see my sharp-taloned worries
and red-eyed fears
lurking around the words,
sinking their teeth into my shoulders,
reminding me how they can never truly be slain.

You would feel the pain
I felt when someone I slowly fell in love with
quickly fell in love with someone else,
and the utter embarrassment when
I fooled myself into thinking maybe
I’ve finally found someone who will smile
at my sayings and laugh at my jokes.

You would rub your fingers across old pictures,
drawings of what made me happy
and what dared to make me cry.
You would find the lyrics to an old Diana Ross song,
and faded photos of friends who have come and gone.

You would find a letter to my future child,
and a note to my favorite author that I never mustered the courage to mail.

You would feel the warmth of a campfire where I finally
become brave and share my story to faces
I finally learned to trust beings who somehow changed my life in just over eight weeks.

You would read a chapter on my yearning for a happiness that I must discover for myself as I make my map of where I want to go. Little slips of paper would fall from the pages. They would have scriptures that give me peace when the world I so carefully built decides to cave in sometimes.

You would find conversations with God
about anything and everything,
begging him to reveal to me the purpose of my existence.
An old red ribbon would mark the pages where you paused your reading,
one which I used to tie my hair back
so it wouldn’t get in the way of my drawings.

You would find pages of unfinished homework
that I gave up on because I decided
I would never use it in my lifetime.

You would find famous quotes from J.K. Rowling bouncing around in between the paragraphs of unfinished stories and skeletal outlines, motivating me to finish what I once started.

Of course, my book would also have many blank pages; pages waiting to be filled one at a time with memories and experiences all waiting to happen as I go along my journey, photos taken because the moment was perfect and I felt an indescribable happiness inside of me.

If you were to turn my mind into a book, the cover would be
worn and folded in the corners, and the spine would be falling apart from too many pages forced into it.

You would find thoughts and confessions I’ve yet to confess.

You would discover the wonders of my mind, and how I work.

If my mind were a book, it would forever remain unfinished.

poem by Madeline Lee, age 18
2014 Gold Key, Silver Medal
Mountain View High School, Mesa

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