I am from change
By Abby Favorito
The idea to write ”I am from change” appeared in one of the first Girls Write Now workshops I participated in. I wrote a few lines then and decided with my mentor to continue to work on it.
I am from the burning pavement of Arizona rocking under my feet. From the boiling heat of the sun blanketing across the bridge of my nose. I am from dry lips and cracked skin From the rattlesnake that hid under a rock in the park, only coming out once in a while to say hello. I am from tightening the straps on my goggles to the point where they leave a crimson rim around my eyes. I am from jumping into my backyard pool, sometimes naked if the weather called for it. From blowing air bubbles out my nose and descending to the bottom, Just sitting there, In the silence, In the peace. I am from salty tears running down my cheeks, Making vertical streaks on my eight-year-old porcelain skin, My youthful eyes, That once gleamed with joy, gone dull. From goodbyes and “We’ll visit in the spring!” I am from taking a plane and soaring thousands of miles to Brooklyn, A new place, Maybe scary, I am from change. I am from putting my Barbie-pink flip-flops into storage and taking out my Bearpaw boots instead. I am from a tight-knit community of hugs and “Have a nice day” To practically watching the smoke rise from that middle-aged man’s head when I accidentally bump him on the sidewalk. To the rush of cars and motorcycles Racing outside my window. To cramming into a pack of people on the subway. I am now from the high of New York adrenaline I feel coursing through my veins, The rush of independence, At only sixteen, Swiping a plastic yellow card in between two pieces of metal Descending steep stairs Rocking my heels on the platform edge The breeze of the incoming train weaving through my hair and kissing my cheeks, From hopping on that train, And just going, Going, Going, From the city that is always going. I am, Now, From the city that never sleeps. I went from peace and quiet, The light buzzing of crickets and hummingbirds, The swish of tumbleweeds. I’m now from The light cooing of pigeons and the rapid flutter of their wings, Squirrels that scale the trees in the park, The smell of coffee and “Nuts4Nuts” peanut trucks. From the awkward bump, I shared with that man, But appreciating a new face, Even with the smoke rising out of it. From a rainbow of culture, fashion, and faces, Where no two people are the same, Where no experience is the same, Where no day is the same. I am from fear of change, But adapting, Growing, Learning, To love the change I once dreaded.
This poem is the first project I did alongside my mentor and through Girls Write Now, as this is my first year as a mentee. I joined Girls Write Now because I had little experience in the world of writing and wanted to dip my toe in each pond it had to offer. Thus, I didn’t really have any specific project in mind for my first submission. I went to a workshop about poetry writing, wrote a few lines there, and my mentor and I decided to go with it. It was one of the first times I had ever put a lot of thought into a poem, as I wasn’t a big fan of poetry before. This project absolutely gave me a new perspective on poetry and it even grew on me a bit. Learning more about how to write poetry gave me a new and beautiful tool that I can use to express myself. I was hesitant at first but I am very pleased with how it came out and I gained a much deeper appreciation for poetry because of it.
Abby Favorito is a junior in high school. She moved to NYC from Arizona when she was eight and has loved her time in the Big Apple. She is dedicated to solving the climate crisis and is an activist for environmental justice. She is consistently active in politics and is passionate about making the world a better place. In her free time, she loves to bake and spend time with friends.