15541394_10202354632784646_1452891421884110148_nThinking back
being twenty wasn’t as shiny
as bronze coin swallowed by carp
I went to eat Chinese and made a wish
to be young again
at twenty
I thought my breasts already hung forlorn
much like the oak grandfather clock
my father lifted from a former nunnery
when the nuns were gone and buried with the rhododendrons
the building disarticulated stood empty
beseeching intruders
awaiting renovation into flats for rich city dwellers
whose coins were gold
my father said
it seems a shame to let these apple and plum trees
be torn up and shredded they are mature and have
earned a right
so by night we dug up their rosewood roots
hefting in my grandfather’s wheel barrow down cobbled street
planted them in the little weedy garden out back
where they endured without their crowns
much as I endured being twenty
thinking myself imperfect
because of the pressure
burning like a hot wire in my
fizzing young head
like tight roller skates leave indents
my father said the trees never
bore fruit after moving
because once you’re planted
you grow roots only once
maybe that’s like being young
you are a tumbleweed and whilst some
take to being a spirit composed of air
there is something reassuring
like a warm fire or
a steaming bath
when you know it doesn’t really matter
all the fanciful dreams you had intended to wear
the way you sucked your stomach in
when he touched you underneath your dress
that tugged uncomfortably at tight seams
because you wanted to be
as gamine as
Audrey Hepburn