leaving only me,
who is brave and funny and will wear purple someday
with a red hat,
but won’t be altogether me because I died
back when I had grace,
and I could dance in a black dress.
I think they loved her then, the graceful girl
who danced as if she didn’t care who looked,
and never knew they saw.
She wanted to be me, the graceful girl.
She wanted to be strong and brave and thought
there would be wisdom in exchange for youth,
but I’m no wiser than I was.
I might as well be young.
The boys who loved the girl are gone.
The men who love me never knew her,
never saw me in her,
never saw her go.
Now I love chickens and gardening in a silly hat.
Gray makes my hair look messy
when it’s not.
But even when I’m happy, there’s a graceful girl
who died behind me on a road less traveled.
I look for her beside the road,
hoping I’ll remember where she tripped
and fell, and how she looked,
and that she’ll know me and forgive
and give me grace.