The Movie Reel Inside My Head

February 16 and 17, 2021 by Erin Stewart Chen

I traded in my spark for an ounce of stability
More Namaste and wisdom than innocent virginity
While I used to bounce my long blond curls on stage
Now my red hair is bordering on grey
And my old ballet legs forget how to plie

They bend, but there is no muscle where there used to be plenty
My eyes still light up, but the lids on them feel heavy

Another day of doing dishes, washing clothes and cleaning
Wishing someone would remember
That I was wild and free at twenty

I have meaning, I have purpose
No doubt my life makes a difference
What it lacks (some days) is joy and whimsy
And making trouble with no worry

I can’t go back and that’s ok
Not sure I want to anyway
It would be enough just to know
That someone out there remembers me so.

But then I realize my life was not a movie
No swells of music, no picturesque scenes
And the memories I cherish now
Don’t match up with reality

For all the carefree wonder I felt
It came with fear and pain you see
Every time has is season
It’s share of sunshine and rain

I am no worse off now than I was then
In fact, I’m better than I might have been.