To the girl I knew six Octobers ago,

it hurts to see the way your sweater matches your eyes,

because I know they turn gray sometimes

like the storm cloud you zip up over your shoulders.

You haven’t found the right language yet,

so you speak in knotted strings and layered sleeves, but that’s okay.

I wish I could tell you that you are heard,

but there’s a steadiness in my voice you wouldn’t recognize.


To the girl I knew six Novembers ago,

I know you aren’t comfortable with who you are.

You’ll dye your hair blue and your wardrobe black,

and you’ll miss wearing sunsets, but you won’t admit it.

I know you want to be edgy, but not everything needs to seem sharp.

You will learn to express yourself in words that don’t confuse art with defiance,

and you’ll learn that a cup of tea and a single letter

can be the difference between pain and paint.


To the girl I knew six Decembers ago,

someday you’ll understand why you can’t live life alone.

You won’t forget the haunting curiosity for a home beyond the clouds,

but you’ll remember that it was never loud enough for you to listen.

You’ll fall in love with the stars, but you’ll learn that you never belonged with them.

I know the word home never tastes quite right in your mouth,

but darling, it doesn’t need to carry all that weight in your chest,

and you can find pieces of it in every place where you feel safe.


To the girl I knew six Januarys ago,

you’re still finding yourself, so please be patient with your growth.

You’ll wear colors again, and you’ll learn how to write with them.

You’ll learn that it’s okay to spill honesty in your poetry and sugar in your tea,

and I promise that both are sweeter this way.

You will learn the balance of keeping your eyes on the sky and your feet on the ground.

And on the days when the sun doesn’t shine as brightly,

know that there is enough light in you

to unzip the storm cloud and take its place.

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