“Twenty years ago” By Julia at her desk

Tuesday November 12, 2019
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

It would seem that 20 years ago
some big fundamental decisions
were being made about who I
would be.

I would be winning first place
for a poem written for the legion’s
Remembrance Day competition.

I would be practicing my comedic
timing in Mrs. Foss’ grade 6 class
storming out of the portable with
flair only to enter a proper beat later
announcing that “I forgot my pencil”.

I would be collecting my classmates’
loonies and twonies to pitch in and
buy Mrs. Foss a surprise bucket of
bubble gum for her birthday and reign
supreme as her favourite after hearing
that one of her former students was
now the godmother to her oldest son,

I would be inviting the new girl into
my friendship circle so she would never
have to feel what I felt when for the
first year I was made fun of for being
good at french and knowing my times
tables, and being tripped into the snow
for having spinach stuck in my teeth.

I would be wearing a grey sports bra,
without even realizing I had breasts
but wishing I had what the new girl
had, even though her bra was padded.

“BLUE & GOLD” by Julia at Kerr Hall at Ryerson

Wednesday November 27, 2013 at Kerr Hall at Ryerson
5 minutes
a poster in Kerr Hall

In a room of strangers, she looked like she didn’t want to stand out intentionally. She was the only one wearing her school’s colours. With pride, even. She looked great. She thought everyone would have the same spirit, the same attitude toward game days. She had moved from a school that celebrated every single moment, game day or not. She didn’t realize what a beautiful thing she had, or had come to know until it was basically forbidden. The teachers all looked at her as if she had broken the uniform code. There was no uniform; unless you counted the uniform judgment that she was experiencing on all fronts. Bright blue. Bright gold. Stars and glitter across her face, pompom strands in her hair. She was trying not to let it bother her that everyone was staring and laughing at her. She was trying to keep it together more than she ever needed to before. Did she really not belong? Could this not be a perfect moment for rallying the troupes and collecting school spirit to pass out to everyone who might, show it or not, actually really want some?