Tuesday, November 15, 2005


by Marisa Prado

Girl grew up hearing
That it was no use lying,
Because Mother always knew it

Mother used to say
That she read it on the forehead of the Girl,
And that only Mother
Knew how to read forehead.

Girl tried
To cover her forehead with her hand
when it came the time to lie.
Mother thought it was funny. Very funny.
And kept on reading away

Girl had to understand
how this mistery worked.
On the bathroom mirror,
she lied a lot, in silence.
And in the forehead, nothing written!

Then, Girl found out
that Mother also lied.
And that it was not the forehead
- it was the eye, shining in a different way -
that gave in the lie.

Girl then tried
to close her eyes real tight,
to hide Lie.
But not even that worked,
for Mother always knew.

Girl really had to learn
to pretend with her eyes open
that Lie was True.
Girl tried, tried... and learned it.
That was the way.

But at night
Girl felt tight inside.
A little like out of breath,
not even able to blink.
With her eyes wide open,
She could not bring herself to sleep.

Air did not come to Girl.
Just like when we get
almost unable to breath
from a laugh from a tickle.
But it was not funny.

Girl - unintentionally -
had discovered Conscience,
something that watches over us
even when Mother is not reading forehead,
Nor seeing eye.

Girl had learned
how much pretending hurt.
And that this way
it would really not be funny
to be a grown-up.
Girl gave up on growing up.

But it was no use.
Girl saw that now
she was almost as tall
as the furniture at grandma’s living room.
And she got very sad.
The tight feeling was getting tighter.

And so tight that tight feeling got,
that Girl figured that pretending
could only hurt so much
because she hurt alone.

Girl had an idea,
and she did not know yet
Whether it was a brilliant idea.
But she knew – oh, yes -
that she had to try it,
in order to find it out.

Girl’s idea
Was to tell Mother
that pretending was hard
Girl found it bad
To learn so many things
And do not share them with anyone.

Girl told Mother
That it was really complicated
and that it wasn’t good at all
having to grow up alone.

Mother hugged
Girl really tight.
And, in the arms so longed for,
Girl became Mother’s mom.

Girl felt
That Mother was crying.
And that Mother
Hadn’t learned it all yet.

Mother did not say anything
but both one and the other knew
in that tight hug
That in Mother it also hurt
To be grown-up alone.

At that moment
Girl understood everything.
She found out that only care
makes loneliness go away.
And that when pain is shared,
it hurts a little less.
And that, then,
you even feel
like keeping on growing up
to find out all the rest of the stuff.