Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Once upon a time, still enwrapped in the innocence of youth
I believed I could grow, blossom.
Even beautify the world with my existence.
But it didn’t take long for that notion to be nipped in the bud.
For me to be stripped of my esteem, petal by delicate petal.
Denied sunlight, shoved into a dark corner.
Deprived of nurturing or a gentle touch.
My growth was stunted.
And I died a premature death.
No longer the color of cotton-candy pink with whisper-white streaks.
No longer coated with sweet-smelling talc.
No longer a surface that dew can dapple with its magic.
No longer unfurling to reach for the sun and embolden my shy colors.
Instead, I wound tighter into myself.
I learned to hide every bit of color. Every dainty piece of self.
Tighter, tighter. Smaller, smaller.
Because no one tampers with invisible buds.
They can be poked, teased, banged against.
But no one rips off furled petals hidden from view.
A life in darkness was safe, predictable. I hid all that fragility inside.
Away from the forces that sought to damage it.
Until. The tightness was too constricting.
The confines too limiting.
And every stifled petal began to protest.
Objected in ways too painful to ignore.
But how to relax this protective stance?
How to spread out, to take up space, to show myself?
How to believe that I even have beauty to contribute?