Amelia Pinto, age 17
This poem was a very impromptu piece I wrote while – quite literally, like the poem says – writing at night and thinking about my future aspirations. During this time in my life, everything has been very future-oriented, and we have been asked in our classes/WriteGirl workshops/counselor meetings what we want our future to look like. I thought it would be meaningful for me to list out some ways I would want people to see me acting, persevering and envisioning for my future self and growth.
The Woman She Becomes in Dreams
At night, I think about the woman I want to be.
She is wise and she is kind and she speaks to you with some kind of conviction. She loves you fearlessly, through an open window out to orange trees. By the stove, patient for chai. On a stage where her eyes settle on an old friend. With hot wax and pressed flowers and annotated books. The crisp leaves of a community’s fragile breeze.
In long letters, she says goodbye. She frees the people around her with a quick kiss on the cheek or a long hug or the deepest eye contact. They’re often saved in tear-stained poetry. Her laughter will escape her and echo carelessly. Its warmth makes her seem taller.
She meditates when she’s perched in trees. She’s working on finding those slivers of peace. The world floods and fades and is set ablaze. She reminds herself of what grounds her here.
When you meet her, she won’t stop eagerly sharing everything with you – wisdom, thrift-store leather boots, all the things she responded with when her grandpa would ask what she learned in school. She’ll make room for you as much as you need: bled in tattoo ink or caked in mehndi. The people she loves cover her palms. The work is hard but she’s never alone.
The makings of this woman are histories she wears on her sleeve. Her vision is messy but she braves it unapologetically. The neighbors watch her delicately – through an open window, out past the orange tree. They wait for the tea to boil over, for the ink to dry, for her people to leave.
And the woman I want to be – she just smiles quietly and hums along to her seven-year-old-self’s instinct.