Anoucheka Gangabissoon

I still remember when I was thirteen

I tilted between wanting to drown myself

In the fantasy world of cartoons

And between knowing life

By maybe experiencing how it would

Feel by having my hand held

Or by having a first kiss

Or even by dressing up like my favorite actress

Or by wearing, for the first time, makeup

By having my hair cut and brushed and

My legs waxed!


I still remember when I was thirteen

How the world seemed such a scary place to be

As I did not have the guts to open my mouth

And greet neighbours

Or even to walk into a shop

And say, loud and clear

That this product is what I am looking for!


I still remember how I used to dream

Of someday accomplishing anything worth

Being proud of

Homework seemed to be such a drag

School seemed to be an obligation

And love,

Yes, love, at least the love I saw in cartoons

The love happening between princesses and princes

Seemed a most reliable refuge!


And then, suddenly, I turned thirty

And life began to take shape

With its responsibilities,

Its burdens, its accountabilities

Its purpose, its essence

And now, when I do bid myself to remember

How I was when I was still thirteen

I just laugh and tell myself

Oh what a baby I was at thirteen!