Enroute To Myself
by Brittany Barker
EDUCATOR, CONTENT CREATOR & GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE ALUM
Where I’m headed, I need my hands empty, I got new things to dig, I’m reaping blessings too big. I can’t promise that I’ll be back. I’ll be somewhere forward, ahead of myself, enroute to my own becoming. Take what you need from the old me. I left so much of her behind, there is excess. I, too, couldn’t say goodbye, but life doesn’t always grant closure, it doesn’t owe you what you once had. So let go, won’t you? Press your feet in some soil, won’t you? Get grounded in the future you dreamt.
by JULIA MERCADO
GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE ALUM, FREELANCE WRITER, TALENT COORDINATOR, HEARST & FORMER SUMMER ASSOCIATE, REAL SIMPLE / MEREDITH
Maybe, who knows, I might kind of get there. If I squint I’ll see some sort of
Am I doing all I’m supposed to do to get there? How did other people get there? Were they
smarter than me? Better than me?
How long will I be doing this for? All I want to do is give up, throw myself on the ground and
wait until someone takes my hands and drags me where I need to go.
But I can’t. Somehow my body keeps moving forward.
I know I’ll get there if I keep going a little longer. I’m already pushing as hard as I can.
It’s my own path—no one else’s. So I think I’ll go at my own pace,
and I’ll be there before I know it.
Conquer Dormant Dreams
by KAYLA MORGAN
GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE
HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Your dreams are more than a sailboat,
journeying to your pier and then on to the next.
They are more than a passing breath
of what you could be and what you aren’t.
Your dreams are like the tip of a dormant
volcano—waiting for the moment it
can erupt with excitement and applause.
And they’ve been waiting for your arrival
since the first sparkle in your eyes,
the first taste of adrenaline on the tip of your teeth,
the first time you felt passion in your hands.
Do not wait until the day begins to start
running to them.
Got to Keep Running
by AMALIE KWASSMAN
GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE ALUM, SMITH COLLEGE GRADUATE,
M.F.A, POETRY & PH.D. CANDIDATE, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
Running even when tired, even when the pain is overcoming the sky. Run from the history of two dead parents and a Brooklyn that hurts too much to return to. Run from the knowledge of time, the leukemia only took a month to kill and the car accident mere minutes. Run from the heartbeat of the moon, everything that stays alive after it is technically gone. Run from the memory of the father who laughed whenever he got food stuck in his beard. Run from the stars that looked after me because father was not there to do it anymore. Run from the silence of walking. Walking is too hard after grief. It forces you to listen when all you want to do is scream. It forces you to call to yourself, to recognize your own breathing. I don’t want to trace the sound of my own breath after too much death. I prefer to whisper. I prefer to be loud but always sound. Don’t let them hear you cry. It will make things harder on your mother. But I can cry when I run. I can scream when I run. And I can be loud. Because dying is loud. And living is too. And dreaming is loud. And then soft, when I wake up and realize what the world wanted me to do was stop. Stop and listen and beat my chest and go down to the ground and wail to the stars, to the moon, to everything that still dares to move.
WISHING FOR THE END
by AREN LAU
GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE
HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Why does the world have to be round?
Why can’t it be flat, so I could run to the edge
away from responsibility,
from this cycle of stress,
Why not a rock, or a maple tree,
or hell, even a Dachshund?
Why not a cheetah, so the
highway in front of me doesn’t seem
endlessly far away
despite how far I’ve come
despite how tired my legs are,
how empty my lungs?
Why am I alive?
Why am I stuck here?
I didn’t ask for this.
No matter how far I go
my identity always follows
Why, my god, if there is one,
Why am I trapped?
The sun takes so long to rise
So long to set
If there’s an ending in place,
I’d like to see it
And I’d like to go down with it, smiling,
by ANAÍS FERNÁNDEZ
GIRLS WRITE NOW MENTEE
HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, QUEENS, NEW YORK
When I woke up
I ran ’round and ’round my bedroom,
as if my artless heartbeat could
call the wind beneath my heels.
The ground refused to let me go
and I came crashing
feeling the world’s axes like a misaligned spine.
in this forever field
paintbrush sky I can taste, can hold
in these hungry lungs
I move too fast for the ground to pull me back
the wind heeds my heart and
breathless with life
A POWERHOUSE OF VOICES.
A CHAMPION OF DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES.
A PIPELINE OF TALENT.
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