poetry and photography by kenza vandenbroek (she/her)
I watched a man cut paper snowflakes
At a busy intersection
And had a sudden craving for
And also miso soup.
I think of you
sipping tea from the bedside table;
All watchful eyes and
You turn off the lamp but the light
And I still feel your smile
Like a dawn crescent moon.
For you I became a woman
And that’s why womanhood was never a present for me.
I missed the part where it was gifted gracefully.
Instead, I ran into it with full force
And miscounted all the footsteps
The ground took.
I don’t mean to get so frustrated but feeling the full moon of my life
Has made me notice the craters.
I see the desire to keep me small
In the way my mother will always give me chores.
Having three adults in the house Is a real shit-show sometimes
But man we get good at
Talking over one another.
As we become women we lose sight of our mothers.
They become our friends
And we might resent them a little
For giving us to a world where
When they teach us
They never tell us how hard it is to fall out of love
For me I cut my hair and
With you I never managed
to finish a book.
I tell myself I’ve made great progress
Because brushing my teeth no longer reminds me
Of us doing those things together.
It’s a final quarter and I’m on my period
“I am an irritable,
But I am a woman,
I am a woman damn it!”
I aggressively tell my reflection
while washing my feet in the sink.
I am a woman and I can be beautiful,
Like a blue pebbled stream.
I can dance like silk
But only for myself in the full length mirror.
My thinking can be sweet, like
I can learn once more
The language of bees
Because I was born speaking it.
And the rising moon will never cease to impress me,
No matter how many times
I have seen it.
I am a woman and
I can endure and survive myself.
I can ride my bike all night if
That’s what I want to do.
I am a river, overflowing and
Sometimes on the surface
Of my own body
But I am a continuum,
And the future will give itself to me
Because the past has stolen
All the things that were once
Gravitating towards my magnetized core.
The sunlight breaks free from
And I can feel it
from behind closed eyes.
I open them slightly and see the colour spectrum of my lashes.
This is the moment I choose
To remind myself,
To wear a helmet
And to actually floss more (for real!)
But mostly, I remind myself
To tend to my garden
Like no other fox can,
Because one day I will cultivate so much beauty
And I will breathe life into this world.