a day at the park

i'm thirty six.

i have friends.

i'm cool.

i'm smart.

i'm happily married with the two kids, the
husband i adore, the house (even if it is a fixer-upper)
and the dog (even if i own the dog only because i have to).


why is it that the presence of one person
from my high school days
at the park today
could transport me back to
sudden insecurity,
(does my bandana look stupid? damn
i shouldn't have worn it...if i take it out
now will my hair look stupid?...damnit,
why did i wear these ugly flipflops from
discomfort, judging myself
and wondering if when their little
group gathered at the picnic table,
if they were talking about me
(remember her? remember she didn't have
a boyfriend until she was sixteen? remember
that time she wore those shorts? with those


and then the second wave of anger
at myself as i walked home
(pushing a stupid looking stroller,
why couldn't it be a cooler looking one?)
kicking myself
at how i can let them do this to me
let them eat away at my confidence...
make me doubt myself...

but its not them i'm mad at,
its myself.

i'm sure i was not the topic of conversation
at their picnic table.
and what happened to all my big talk
of being who you are regardless what
anyone thinks...
my big talk of not caring what anyone thinks.


maybe ten can give me a pep talk
when she gets home from school.