Wishing to be 18
by Brenda Davis Harsham

wishing away
my youth
wishing the days gone
so I can be gone
from a place of
where I can’t be real
I have to be fake
to pretend no feelings
have no opinion
make no waves
ask for nothing
do my chores
finish my homework
watch the sun set
the snow fly
the rain grizzle
through my window
damping myself into poetry
where my words
can sprout
grow wings
fly away
like me
one day
I will own
a cat.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me at 18 holding Mouser the Cat, alas not mine, but not loved the less for belonging to someone else.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Adolescence can be a tough time, an awkward time of waiting to grow up. Books and poetry were a balm to my soul. One dream that didn’t let go of me was having a pet. Luckily, my inner kid brings me joy, all these years later.


Brenda Davis Harsham lives and works in New England. Her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies or journals including the Best of Today’s Little Ditty, NY Literary Magazine, Silver Birch Press, The Writing Garden and The Paperbook Collective. One of her poems won First Place in NY Literary Magazine’s Awake Best Poetry Contest. She writes poetry and fairytales for kids of all ages at and tweets as @BrendaDHarsham.