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Below the Surface

by Amanda J Cobb

She sits in the corner,
a soft gradient of golden-brown tints
in the filtered morning sunlight.

Named as beautiful these days,
by familiars and strangers alike
(and for once they mean
below the surface, too)
she still remembers days
lived with shame in wire-rims and braces,
and creative names thrown at her
by boys with perfect teeth
and girls with eyeliner eyes.

She smiles at how little it matters,
now that she's come into her own,
finding her confidence
and proving what she's really worth.

And yet each time she finds herself
walking through a crowd alone,
head bowed,
her eyes spark with anger
at how deep they managed to cut.

Memories are sometimes easier to leave behind
than habits born for years.

07/31/2003

Author's Note: Revised slightly May 2007.

Posted on 07/31/2003
Copyright © 2020 Amanda J Cobb

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Max Bouillet on 07/31/03 at 08:26 PM

Habits are very difficult to change. Great wisdom and strength in this work. Excellent scene depiction... I felt as though I was in the crowd looking at my feet!

Posted by Charles E Minshall on 08/01/03 at 02:57 AM

From nondescript seeds grow the beautiful flowers. Good poem Amanda....Charlie

Posted by David R Spellman on 08/01/03 at 03:49 PM

Excellent reflective piece on the changes made and confidence gained, tinged still with the scars of the past. Well written.

Posted by Melissa Arel on 08/27/03 at 06:51 PM

I like this one a lot.. reminds me of - me :) I still find myself looking at the floor when people walk by me. (I had braces too!) Its not easy to overcome those scars but eventually we will!

Posted by Phil P Robson on 10/04/03 at 03:11 PM

Very poignant, the poem's simplicity makes it believable and the emotions even more evocative. Nice work

Posted by Vimal Rony on 07/27/05 at 07:30 PM

U have a highly imaginative mind and the visuals play on the screen as well as the emotions of the character.I appreciate the way u silkly yet strongly put across the whole thing. A very beautifully written piece.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 12/13/08 at 01:14 PM

A good choice for POTD. Speaks cogently of human nature.

Posted by George Hoerner on 12/13/08 at 09:26 PM

Really nice POTD Amanda! And yes, I recall the days, 4 eyes were all I knew as a name for a while. I couldn't break my glasses quickly enough to stop the name.

Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 12/16/08 at 12:04 PM

I echo the above. Great write. Congrats on POTD!

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