July 29, 2021

They say these years are where you find yourself—

but mind yourself, they don’t tell you where to look.

I tried to search in mirrors, but I fear they seem far fiercer

when scattered scars and freckles are the only baited hooks.

I’ve watched the windows of my soul to catch a glimpse beyond their gates,

but the eyes that watched me back were quick to bicker and deceive.

The colors blending into barricades seemed to lock me out,

and I couldn’t find the heart that seemed to bleed right through my sleeve.


I deemed the mirror worthless, just as it had been for me,

hiding pictures of the person I was, and now I miss.

The glass, so unforgiving, forced the stranger that I saw

to reconstruct who I am now, instead of reminisce.

Not quite blank, but yes, a slate—to write the words I choose,

morphing every soul I’ve ever known to fill mosaic art.

This restoration fragile and this architecture slight,

each piece of my mosaic must be one I know by heart.


I write my lower a’s with sweeping curls at the top

because that’s what my best friend did as we practiced how to print.

I order cappuccinos at the café down the road

because the girl there loves to make them, and I love when her eyes glint.

On the night before my birthday, my dad still marks my height

with the faintest gentle tracing of a pencil on the wall,

because when I was little, he convinced me every year

that the night before my birthday was when I grew tall.


I still answer to the nickname my siblings used to say

when their tongues were tripping through their growing little minds;

and I sing the same hymn softly to myself when I’m alone

because it makes me think of someone I loved and left behind.

I look for constellations when nothing feels secure

because someone once told me, “The stars are constant, little one.”

And I still think of home as what I call my friend’s safe arms

because her stories left me breathless and her refuge filled my lungs.


They say these years are where you find yourself—

but mind yourself, you will not find yourself within.

You may be caught in shiny glimpses of an unforgiving glass,

or be held captive by distractions that go no deeper than your skin.

You will find yourself in parts of every heart you’ve ever touched,

making a mosaic of the lives within your reach.

You may wish to micromanage what you weed and what you keep,

but the beauty in your hands is that you’re richly shaped by each.


  1. Jenny Chasteen

    Amazing, as usual! 😊

  2. Maria

    This is beautiful and so true! Well-written, Cindy Green 🙂

  3. Rei

    Ooh… Wow.
    I don’t always connect with poetry, but this…
    This was beautiful. I could see myself in so much of it.
    Thank you so much for sharing

  4. Vella Karman

    Wow. I don’t quite have the words–wow!


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