I put on my red dress, birthday dress, bird
dress, the one with the pockets in which I feel
like a princess. I slipped on my gold sandals,
flat sandals, bad for walking sandals, the ones
that I bought from Target a second ago and that
are already tearing apart. And I walked.
Through the wind that shook my curls nearly free
of the bobby pins, along streets cobbled and smeared
with dog poop, next to a Canal and into the plaza
of gold-flecked buildings, I walked. I sat and drank
a coffee served by a man who spoke Italian
to me, English to my father. I leaned my head back
and let the wind caress me. I felt like a queen,
returned from exile, examining her queendom,
for the first time in months thinking — life is good.
Poem by Karis Rogerson September 3, 2019