R in autumn close up 2a                                                                                        K. Barratt

To be thirteen again and cry over scuffed shoes. To laugh, wildly, at a friend’s joke and then cover your mouth, to hide the braces on your teeth. To be thirteen. To run with the pack, sometimes lead. To love and loath boys in the same minute, to pretend you don’t know that he’s looking at the back of the school bus. To hate the teacher, just because, and then to adore her when touched with a little of her grace, in a math test. To ignore your parents and then frown, because you have gotten your morning embrace. To speak nonstop with your bestie; to just want to be alone and mourn some unmentionable tragedy that no one understands. To adore the world. And find it a bore. To play cool, wanting not to be daft about life’s questions and answers. And deep down cross your fingers, and hope for happy-ever-afters. To be thirteen and have a heart like the sea. Innocence, walking with barrowed stilettos to school, only to change them fast as you reach the gate. To wanting to play with Barbie again and wishing to have all the money in the world, to buy everything in the girl section of Next. To be thirteen, once more. And to live it from afar, reflected in the brilliant beauty of your daughter’s eye.


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