Beautiful

skinny-model-20_720

Seen through your eyes you appear flawed; pimples
swell to fill the face
and the nose distorts to an odd shape,
unlike those pert sculptures deftly displayed by your friends.

Yesterday, the top looked just like
the pricey one you circled in a magazine.
Now all you see is a cheap copy,
but a little better than everything else you possess
so you throw a coat over it,
hoping last week’s indelible makeup stain doesn’t show;
fearing that boys may notice your flabby roll,

and out you go,
wishing you were anybody but yourself,
or at least that you were beautiful.

You don’t see anything but what the mirror shows you,
so,
as you walk down the road
practicing and failing at invisibility,
you miss the group of boys whose eyes
silently admire your countenance.
You don’t even see the one you dream of
as he steps out in your direction
then falters, convinced that you will turn away in disdain.

When Mrs Jones says you look pretty
you believe she speaks out of pity.

The old lady at number eight lives alone.
Since her sister died she keeps her mind busy
watching the street from her window.

She sees the boys kicking the pavement
flicking tissue balls to relieve their boredom,
talking small,
she senses the quiet breeze,
feels it whip out a concentrated whirlwind
exciting young masculinity,
and turns, catching the cause,
taking in your hair, your faraway expression,
your convincing indifference,
as you look her way.

You mistake an old lady’s wistful glance
for one of dislike;
while she remembers tea dances
wrecked by a stammer, a stumbling gait,
ugly plum coloured blushes that curtailed romance
and wishes she
had recognised and capitalised on her youth
as you seem to,

but after all, she thinks,
you are beautiful.

Written for The Daily Post Prompt #Youth

©Jane Paterson Basil

blog28px

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Beautiful

        1. All this writing has made me more self aware. You and I were different in that you were consistent – that is, you consistently thought you were an ugly duckling. I was luckier, in one way. I bounced from thinking I was utterly repulsive to feeling like a Goddess, and back. I now know I was always unbalanced. It started with that horrible cycle we women have to deal with. My mum tried to get medical help for me, but the meds. kick-started the migraines which resulted in the opiate addiction. Isn’t life amusing?

          Liked by 1 person

  1. So beautiful and tragic at the same time-mainly as it’s so typically true of that adolescent age group… I see beautiful young girls around who look so uncomfortable, trying to make themselves invisible, and remember that I used to feel exactly the same at that age. Awkward, not comfortable in their own skin-it’s a shame that the confidence which (hopefully) comes with age isn’t apparent to them while they are young…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s