"Mecynorhina Torquta Ugandensis" Maya Suydam, Collegiate SMB

Green Eyes

Jaiyana Stallworth, Central VPA

Oh, how I wish my eyes were the prettiest shade of green! So that whenever his gaze

fell upon a flower stem, he might think of me.

Instead, my eyes are the mud on the bottom of his shoe. 

In the right lighting, they may

be….the dog poop.

And I covet hair as flowy and long as the magnificent willow tree. 

I can imagine the way

the wind would blow and all he could see would be me.

Yet here I am, the lowly hedge in need of a trim. Left to decay, unwanted, 

especially by him.

How I envy those with skin comparable to a piece of untouched glass.

Or maybe stainless steel so I could be unbreakable? Yes. Unbreakable is all I want to be,

but fear I’m the rugged bark of the oak tree, with only an infinitesimal chance of ever

Feeling free.

The oceans and tides move for the flower stem, willow-treed, glass-steeled girls; and there

are mountains that block the way for us muddy hedge like dog-poop oak tree girls.

Mountains impossible to climb.

Mountains of devastation, insecurity, depression. 

Mountains that would never impede a willow tree. 

And my oak-y skin itches with guilt, like I’ve rolled in a bath of poison ivy because I know

every time I bring down myself, I am bringing down every other muddy hedge like

dog-poop oak tree girl and that’s not fair to them. No, it’s all so pretty on them. 

It’s dog-poop’s no more. Instead, on them, it’s sweet like coffee, and the hedges are comforting;

filling in a graceful topiary, and then 

the oak leveled, a smooth mahogany. 

So why does it look so bad on me?

Everyone wants the flower-stemmed, willow-treed, glass-steeled girls, and the

sweet-as-coffee and topiary-graced, Mahogany Girls, too. But absolutely no one wants a muddy hedge-like oak tree girl. Really, 

I could be anyone but me, but I think I’d find a way to hate myself even then.

No matter the transformation, mahogany, or glass, I wouldn’t know how to like myself.

I want to end this on a cheerful note, but then I would be lying, and lying is a thing I don’t