A Dolphin's Daughter | Teen Ink

A Dolphin's Daughter

July 8, 2023
By Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
169 articles 51 photos 1024 comments

Favorite Quote:
The universe must be a teenage girl. So much darkness, so many stars.

On a summer camp’s day the soft girls sang

about kissing boys and bubblegum

and I couldn’t make my short legs go over the rope just right,


felt myself tripping through their arrows of sky,

those girls and their uncrooked ponytails

upon whom the pennies and acorns and birds never smiled

and their mothers were as far away as mine

like a hundred sand-swollen tide shells


 and though the acrid world takes me from behind

 my pen sinks—from the living water I drink

 and let the disappointment refill me


 and all that shatters is not the rainbow or childhood

 or me here quivering, in the net of all I hope to never become


when the pain of a flower pulled up will remind you

that the earth hurts us by giving us roots and lonely petals.


 And when you’ve found her sinking, swimming, withering,

 leave the table—and in a crisp crackle of agony a dolphin’s daughter

 is gone, leaving us to take care of each other somehow.

The author's comments:

This piece is about a particular place and time that's now long gone--a day of jump roping with other girls who were strangers to me at this summer camp I had to go to when I was nine. As the poem continues, it reflects on death and loss.

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