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Message to Readers

Hey guys! I have just submitted this piece for the write the world contest, ending on 4.16.19. I would love to hear what others think of it. I am always looking to improve on my writing and craft.

An Apology Letter

April 16, 2019

as i entered the world of public school, i had no idea what to expect.
before then- i never got the choice to wear anything
other than a scratchy, plaid jumper
    with gym shorts underneath
        to hide my panties from the boys.

even in the fourth grade-
    the shorter your shorts, the more popular you were.
as a kid, i wore brown swim trunks paired with a tankini top;
    i performed front flips off the 14 foot high-dive.
the nuns running Saint Mary’s Summer Camp never failed to remind me of my role as a female-
    let’s not try to show off too much;
        leave the flips and tricks to the boys- you can come watch with me.
my eight-year-old self quickly began studying what a girl should look like:
    you must dress for your body,
        and remember, it is the boys you’re trying to impress.
the high tones of Sister Anne echoed in my ears
    as the water consumed me.

then there was that boy who developed a kind of obsession with me-
most days his fists met my face and i began to believe
this was his way of introducing himself.
    i promised i’d never forget him.

by middle school, the bullies became the girls,
    and they,
    were ruthless:
    why does your hair look like that?
        button your shirt more, nobody wants to see anymore of you than they have to.
            are you really going to drink that lemonade? it has so many calories.

seventh grade welcomed me
with the gift of a stick of gum everyday for lunch
if i was lucky, the flavor would last from the morning car ride until third period,
but then, it just tasted like cement until dinner time.

in eighth grade i tried to leave you behind for the first time,
and for that
    body- i’m sorry.

freshman year i discovered the relief
scratching your fragile skin would bring me
in those times I needed control;
although, I figured feeding you all the pills I possessed would make up for it.

i appreciate the fight you put up in order to survive,
    the year i turned 16-
i never thought i’d make it that long.

i’m sorry i refused to put in as much effort as you;
you held it together when i couldn’t do the same;
    and for the battles i began but never finished- making you my shield,
        as I cowered behind,
        wearing baggy clothes to hide our wounds.

digging graves in your skin became the only way to bury the idea
    of being abused by the first person i let in,
        the knowledge that people shouldn’t ask me to show you off, and
            the fear of letting the words
                i wish i were dead slip out from my lips again.

i’m sorry that in the midst of it all-
we grew too small for our favorite pair of jeans.

    dear mom,
    i’m sorry the new clothes, hospital bills, and years of therapy cost you so much.
        i’m sorry i cost so much.
    dear elementary school bully,
    i’m sorry my cheek bones bruised your knuckles, and my shorts were never short enough.
        i’m sorry i wasn’t good enough.
    dear middle school girls,
    i’m sorry my shirts never buttoned over my chest, and i ever offered you a lemonade.
        i’m sorry i wasn’t small enough.

dear body,
    i’m sorry for the valleys i dug in your skin,
        for the nights i stained your cheeks with my useless tears,
            for the mornings i rolled back over and refused to get out of bed,
        for the hours i counted while withholding all food from you.
    i’m sorry for the times i neglected to listen to your needs,
for the years of hatred towards you and the regret of stopping at 12 pills instead of more.

i’m sorry I took so long to write you this apology,
i’ve been busy growing old when i never thought i would.

    dear body,
    thank you for not giving up on us.

                                        love always,
This free verse poem was originally an assignment for my advanced composition class, senior year. We were to write a cause and effect essay in the form of an apology. After surviving years of treatment and recovery I finally found the strength to apologize to myself- and my body- for everything I put it through. Later, I was informed of this competition and decided to take on the challenge of turning an essay into a poem in a little less than a week. Thank you for the opportunity to put my work into the public, as it has been a form of my therapy for many years now. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed crafting it.
Thank you, Quin Rich


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  • April 16, 2019 - 7:49am (Now Viewing)

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  • Saadia

    I am so sorry for the pain you had to go through to get to this point. I am glad you have the courage to put your work and feelings and history out into the world. Wonderful writing and I really like your creativity behind this. I hope you are in a good place now with yourself and your body. (:

    over 2 years ago
  • Gray_1604

    This is very deep and a wonder piece

    over 2 years ago