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Flying with the others now, but I am an individual

by: SUBMITTED ILLUSTRATION / MARA BAHRI This painting by Mara Bahri illustrates Bahri’s poem, below.

I recently wrote this poem and thought it would be a great addition to the Lake Oswego Review. With all the expectations parents and peers have on students and kids these days, I thought this poem could apply to many people and hopefully allow them to see they are not alone. I hope you as well as others will have the delight of reading it, just as much as I did writing it.

Free Bird

I am that bird flying away from everyone.

Going West instead of South for the winter I differ from others.

Patterns trapping me everywhere I go.

Expectations …

Smart,

Pretty,

Mannered,

Obedient,

Strong morals,

Good Posture,

But I can't be perfect.

I need to make mistakes to efficiently learn from them.

Expectations.

Filling my head with what I am doing wrong.

Get out.

Let me learn.

I am taught to cover up and change what I look like every morning with make-up.

Masking myself.

Patterns and routines …

Wake up,

Get ready,

Make up,

School,

Study,

Eat,

Sleep.

Replay.

Like a product line.

Robotic.

In flight, must I follow others flocking together?

Like a dove stuck in a world of crows.

Let me spread my own wings.

I am who I am.

Accept it.

Shy,

Caring,

Motivated,

I have my own dreams.

I don't want to live yours.

Living vicariously through me will not be tolerated for much longer.

For no one likes cages.

But it is not you who is trapping me.

It is me.

Restricting myself.

Scared of the failing in the future.

Filtering every word I speak.

But I must stop.

It is all in my mind.

Contemplation of …

Life,

Love,

Education,

Occupation,

Family.

Stop planning.

I will take everything as it happens rather than planning.

I am too young for all this.

Flying with the others now, but I am an individual.

Perfection is all in the mind.

No one is perfect and I accept that now.

Mara Bahri is a resident of Lake Oswego