“Memories of Hardship,” by Grace Alamo

Apr 20th, 2024 | By | Category: Poetry

You proudly do your hair like Princess Leia’s for picture day only to quietly take out the buns later when the other school children giggle and stare. You trade your stuffed rabbit, Hoppy, for Sarah’s lion at school and regret it immediately. You consider asking for Hoppy back, but the current law of the playground is “no take backs” so you accept your fate. Surrounded by others but all alone in your sorrow, you sit down on a swing and drag your feet against the woodchips, wallowing in the loss of your dear friend Hoppy.

Things brighten up later that week when Pizza Hut declares you an “All Star Reader.” You write your first story about a dog who saves the world from evil cats. Some grown-ups steal your idea in a movie called Cats & Dogs. Or did you steal their idea? Oh well.

Your dad stops at Sonic before dinner, and you promise you won’t tell mom. You proudly order three corn dogs and a milkshake but then get stuck at the table all night because you couldn’t make room for your mixed vegetables. You practice braiding your hair as you stare at the ceiling, finding shapes in the popcorn. It’s so unfair that you aren’t allowed to dye pieces of your hair blue like Hayden or get your cartilage pierced like Maggie. Life is tough. But there’s one thing you’re sure of; things are bound to get easier once you are older.


Grace Alamo is a writer currently living in Miami, Florida. She is completing her Master’s in English at the University of West Florida.

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