Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved stickers. She collected them and put them in a book. It was election day. The little girl’s mother packed up all of her children and took them with her while she voted. There was a mean lady named Linda working at the polls. Linda had short black hair, large silver glasses and a purple dress with green flowers printed on it. She gave the little girl’s mother a voting sticker but she didn’t give the girl a sticker. Of course, the little girl never forgot. Thirty-three years later, she thinks about how she didn’t get a sticker every time she votes.
She thinks about the issues too.
When I was 11, I believed I could fly airplanes
Bake cakes, interview world leaders, write poetry
Wear lipstick and hiking boots for fun
Put boys in their place when they misbehave
I was Joan of Arc, Marie Cure and Mother Teresa
All rolled up into one awesome girl. Me.
Then I turned 12.
Oh, to reclaim 11.
How old were you? I was 12. I was at my grandma’s house. Heather had come over to play. We were sister mermaids who had the magical ability to transform into humans. During the day, we had jobs as a doctor and a TV reporter. In the evening, we went on dates with our handsome boyfriends. After our dates, the mermaid sisters would swim in the ocean. The large grapefruit tree was the ocean and the ground was the human world. We had played mermaid sisters many times, but on that day we couldn’t get the game to work. We gave up and went inside. I remember standing at the glass sliding door that separated the outside yard from the inside house. I don’t know what Heather was thinking, but I was overcome by the moment. I looked at the grapefruit tree and whispered. “It is only a tree now. What happened?”