i’m worried about her
By Anaís Fernández
Content warning: transphobia
An ode to hers everywhere.
she worries enough already worries enough to worry at her years her worry watches the time with quaking knees and scared eyes her, who stares out the window like some unsmiling Mona Lisa counting her heartbeats like a countdown believing the world turns too fast have you heard her? she cries for help and refuses it in one breath a nasty cycle, passing tidal waves in her pillow, caught by cotton her mouth tired of holding itself up her, who cries her, who lies her, whose eyes see nothing but the hers left behind her, who cradles her child, who freefalls, spine spinning to the concrete who tries to be an octopus mother even when the sharks won’t eat her, who holds her hands up palms up psalms up looking for help from a man who hurts her with a Bible in his belt her, voice loud even with her mouth closed who stands up and whose eyes glow fists clenched even with her heart open skin bare even with herself roped in her, who loves her, her, who everyone still calls “him,” him, who is trying, trying to understand, what it means to be her. her, who isn’t here yet her, who left too early her, who’s right on time her, who gives herself without losing herself her, who doesn’t yet know how it feels to be prey her, who has known since puberty her, who feels unwanted fingerprints like dried paint who has nightmares that taste like copper. her, who’s waiting for someone to worry about her i’m worried about her.
Taking Root: The Girls Write Now 2022 Anthology
For more than two years, our young writers have weathered an adolescence shaped by an ongoing global pandemic. But a harsh climate can also produce work of rare depth, complexity, nuance and humor. The Girls Write Now mentees in this collection have found new ways to build community and take root. This anthology is a catalog of seeds—each young writer cultivating a shimmering, emergent voice. In short stories, personal essays, poetry, and more, they reflect on life-altering topics like heartbreak, self-care and friendship. The result is a stunning book with global relevance of all this generation has endured and transformed.
This piece was inspired by the writing prompt “i’m worried about her.” When writing, I had no idea the prompt would produce a love letter to “hers” everywhere. I found myself playing a lot with rhythm, repetition, and word play. It’s the kind of poem that sounds best when read aloud.
Anaís Fernández is a second-year Girls Write Now mentee and a high school senior currently applying to college creative writing programs. When she is not writing poetry, prose or random snippets living in her head, she is making music, acting or reading. If she had to eat one thing for the rest of her life, it would be rice.