Girls And Their Many Layers

“She is always running before she walks” – Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott

I recently read the first chapter of the NY Times series Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott. While I was reading, a descriptor for a young girl, the main character, circled my mind for a few days: “She is always running before she walks”.  Never had I heard or seen a girl described in that way, using a simple action to demonstrate the young girls ambition. As a response to that I wrote this:

How nice is it to describe a girl with

So much passion

How beautiful is it to be recognized by your


Instead of by your walk and how your

Body dances with your stride.


The way people watch you is something

You should be pay more attention to

Some observe the details that

Can display bits and pieces of your



Others glue their eyes on your legs or

your bottom, or the faint silhouette

of your cellphone on your back pocket or

even the way your chest enjoys a slight

bounce when you walk a little bit faster.


Why is it that I am viewed like that?

Why was I judged by the thickness of

My arms, by the strength of my legs, the

Ability of my chest to dance as it catches up

With my legs that with long strides try to

Eat the whole world up.


I am a fast walker.


My legs try to catch up with my mind

That sprints to understand my surroundings,

They try to keep up with my –fast talking-,

Sometimes I don’t even notice the

Thoughts running away from my

Abstract brain and finding safety

In my throat where they seem to be

A bit un-comfortable and

My cords seem to push each sound out to

Create a word that after crawling

Up my throat reaches my toungue and

Finally becomes a phrase that tries

To be heard, a phrase that is heard.


And when I scream my vocal cords

Bend and break so that the lump

Of words, I did not say

Can catapult away

And be heard and no longer be

Just words.

Or be just mine.


So that they become a phrase

That others hear and understand

And say and relay.


Melissa Leal