Growing Pains

Ireland Smith

A pink petal shyly touches my bedroom window 

as if afraid of what lies inside, of me— 

  a raging storm, a ruthless sea, a retreating sun. 

Suddenly desperate, I open the shutters  

too late. The wind steals the petal: it couldn’t outrun. 



Summer turns to auburns and golds, 

taking the last of the warmth and light from me. 

I am lost in the unforgiving world, forgotten, 

 made to lose. Like the cherry blossom— 

                          longing and shame shed from my branches, rotten. 



An unsettling, numbing cold devours the earth 

followed by a bitter blizzard that consumes me— 

    why does it hurt so much to face this pain? 

    I wish I could forget, your silent silhouette, 

                                    your rough gentle hands and words that still remain. 



Sunlight kisses my wrist as it reaches through green leaves. 

      Breaths come easier, a weight is lifted from me 

         as memories of that night recede from my mind. 

Birds weaving their notes of liberty and love— 

a reminder for me to respond in kind. 



Finally, with cherry blossoms in full bloom 

  I reach out through my window towards the tree. 

The bark bears scars that are rough and weathered— 

      Survivor wounds that show strength not weakness. 

       Tears rain down with pink petals as we cry together, 

promising we will not have to carry this weight forever. 

Contributor's Note

Ireland Smith is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Chemistry, Psychology, and Literature. She plans to attend medical school next fall and become a physician. In the meantime, she enjoys writing poems to express complex human emotions and experiences, and often confronts heavy issues in her poetry to bring social awareness to them. She graciously thanks everyone who has been supportive of her writing over the years.