Apollo Days

First I wonder if I should apologize

For being the wild, reckless girl I was.

It took decades and pills to calm her down.

No, she was who she was and I can’t change it now.


Second, I’m not the same shape I used to be.

I didn’t age as gracefully as I had hoped.

I definitely can’t run like I used to.

In this body, I won’t bring back the past.


I don’t think I have done enough to see you all,

Although I have done plenty in my life.

I haven’t been successful like you have.

I won’t go to be ashamed and ignored.


Sneaking around Pittock Mansion at night,

Being called “Queenie” by the Western Civ teacher.

Not excelling at anything in speech class,

Not excelling at cross country or track.


Being on the outside looking in,

Wearing the same clothes trying to fit in.

Missing both junior and senior prom.

Running a 5K downtown instead.


Wishing and chasing and missing the mark.

Churning and spinning with no sense of control.

It would later be called names by the experts

Who would dig into my psyche and hold it to the light.


I was the odd one, I didn’t have name for it then.

I was the freak who had potential but no discipline.

I was a shooting star who burned out later from abuse.

I was the forgotten one who screamed to be loved.


Well, it’s been over now for a while.

My varsity jacket is in a bag in my closet.

I cry no tears but am drowning on the inside,

Wishing and hoping for a place to belong.


© 2017 Valerie Hathaway


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