my autobiography: a 5 part cherita

the poet at 6 years old


at 46, i prefer to go my own way.

not that i was ever a person to follow.
i spent my formative years fighting the power.

now i eat cookies before i make dinner.
i don’t count calories or measure anything.
i figure whether i count it or not, the pot will boil.


at 36, i wanted nothing more than to be a mother.

he was all eyes and gummy smile.
i would sit and stare at him for hours on end.

he changed everything.
i’d known love but i hadn’t known love.
all of me was turned inside out and right side forward.


at 26, i was so in love.

i thought i couldn’t breath for the swelling of my heart.
looking at myself in the mirror i wondered, am i really changed.

of course, i wasn’t different only stretched.
i prayed for each of my friends that they too would find love.
later i discovered, they prayed for me to wake.


at 16, i covered my body in layers.

trench coats and converse were my uniform.
my mother was so frustrated.

but you’re such a pretty girl with a nice figure.
i was figuring out how to get out of dodge.
damn sure didn’t want anyone noticing my pretty.


at 6, i just wanted to be left alone.

hiding in corners with books too big to hold.
my younger uncles teased me, told me i was weird.

but there was one, who championed me.
he nicknamed me wonder.
for me, he is a ray that shines forever.

the poet at 46 years old


7 Comments Add yours

  1. heyannis says:

    Wanda, this is fabulous. I love the 10-year markings of your progress and seeing how you changed, yet stayed the same. You are still that Wonder!

    A favorite line: “damn sure didn’t want anyone noticing my pretty.” So many of us could relate to that at 16.

    Loved the photos, too. Thank you. xoA

  2. Anke says:

    “They prayed for me to wake” – so often the people around us know our mistakes as we make them. The miracle? They love us enough to stay by our side.

    1. Isn’t that the truth! Thank you for reading.

  3. The reverse order you did really worked. Great poem.

  4. qwietpleez says:

    You fit so much of *you* in each cherita . . . beautiful. Sometimes I eat cookies before dinner too 🙂

    1. That’s the best time! Thanks for reading.

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