My aunt looks like Justin Bieber.
Â When I grow up I wanna be skinny. Not fat like my mom.
I have two really small toes like midgets do.
These gems sparkle from the mouths of third grade students I’ve met this fall. I work with an afterschool health and literacy program that provides poetry workshops for elementary kids, and I am constantly reminded how people become diluted as they age. Children are natural poetsâ€”honest, succinct. Their unfiltered nature can be endearing and devastating. Â But are they inherently cruel, or more like litmus paper strips, absorbing influence?
e.g. â€” This baby:
I imagine this baby reared its head through the birth canal with the stank eye.
Last week, an 8-year-old boy asked me if I was “grown.” I find it difficult to call myself a man, considering I still can’t grow a full beard. And yet when I told him I was 23, his reaction instilled in me the fear that Â I must Â appear as tired as most Wal-Mart shoppers. Today, while I was explaining metaphors, another boy blurted, “You got caterpillar eyebrows. Actually, you got a unibrow.”Â I froze and thanked him:
1. Â It was the strongest metaphor of the day.
2. Â I squared out because he hit a soft spotâ€” I’ve worn two eyebrows since 1996 after my peers mistook me for Dracula when I was a magician for Halloween.
I can grow a bold unibrow, but I’m not as free as Frida Kahlo.
As my boyfriend grills salmon patties for dinner, I tweeze my unibrow in the mirror and wonder: Is there such a thing as original sin? Does electrolysis hurt? What is the appropriate age for a chemical peel?