things I wish I learned as a kid

I wish I learned how to swim

I wish I learned how to dance

I wish I learned that I could enjoy

something

without being good at it

I wish I learned how to color

outside of the lines

I wish I learned how to fight

I wish I learned that adults

were still kids

I wish I learned about therapy

I wish I learned how to have money

and keep money

I wish I learned all

there was to love

about being Black

I wish I learned that coarse hair

was never made for

a narrow tooth comb

I wish I learned how to say

“no”

and memorize it like

the anatomy

of a five paragraph essay,

no supporting details, just “no”

I wish I learned to celebrate

imperfection

I wish I never learned to fear

rejection from men

I wish I learned

to accept more invitations

in high school

but social anxiety

I wish I learned

how to do less

and feel proud

I wish I learned

how to be kind to myself

when my skin flaked

or I made a mistake

I wish I learned

to not laugh along

with what bothered me

to not apologize

for feeling

I wish I learned more than

the order of operations

and the humility

in the chronological order

of life

I grieve what I did not learn

but now is here

and then still taught me

something

I’m healing now

I’m learning now

and now,

God willing,

is renewable.

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