Not What You Would Make of Me

You did not know what to think of me.

I was a young bird cupped in your palms. My heart beat frantically, but my wings remained folded under your fingers.

You did not know what to do with me.

I was beautiful, but not in the way you expected. I was mottled and gray and brown and dull. I was subdued, yet radiant. It struck you wrong.

You did not know what to make of me.

I was half-formed to your eyes. I required guidance and a wisdom only you could provide, so you provided for me. With your help, I wilted.

It turned out you did not see me.

One morning the grays fell away and my wings stirred. I stretched, tested the strength of your walls and found there was space. I grew.

It turned out you did not want me.

The richness of my color, my depth, my brilliance; I was unexpected. I was no longer dull or small. I found my voice and sang.

It turned out you did not hear me.

But I sang just the same. My voice rang true and shattered your expectations. I lifted myself up. I flew, free.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

0 Discussion to this post

  1. Wow! You’re a great writer Shawna. That made me feel an array on emotions.

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