Tamara Stamenkovic
Poetry,  Written literature | Author's writings

Thirteen

She was thirteen
when she felt the need to change the world.
Seventeen, when she stopped daydreaming.
Eighteen, when she lit her first cigarette.
It burned brighter than the flames inside her.
She wrote her dreams on paper,
but she didn’t put the paper in a bottle and throw it into the ocean.
Instead, she buried her wishes in the yard,
hoping that one day
a tree will rise there.
A tree whose leaves will not fall off and change colors,
and that it will look natural
when it turns seventeen.

She was twenty-one years old
when her eyes glowed the last time.
Twenty-three,
when even a false smile faded away.
She was ready to give up.
Twenty-four,
when she met him,
the man who was on
edge to give up.
They had a habit of sitting
outside her house for hours,
holding hands,
talking about the paper that remained buried
and about a tree that never rose,
let alone turned seventeen.

She was twenty-seven
when she fell in love with him.
Twenty-nine when
she lost hope in love.
Thirty, when she realized
that nothing lasts forever,
and that every “forever”
becomes the last forever,
and each of them takes one part of her heart.

When she was thirty-two,
she had numerous attempts to create “forever”,
with an unknown number of them.
She finally thought
that she met the right one.
Thirty-three,
when she found
her long lost smile.
Thirty-four when she became sure
that this “forever” is the one
she had been searching for all her life.
She was finally full of hope
that the tree might grow
in her backyard,
where a piece of paper remained buried.

She was thirty-six
when she finally felt
some changes and the growth of something.
Not in her yard, but inside her.
Thirty-eight when
she first heard the whisper
saying: “Mom.”
The tree finally began to grow
and she was determined and convinced
that those leaves will never feel autumn,
when the tree turns seventeen,
or twenty-one, or thirty.
She was finally convinced
that the leaves will never turn dark,
she will not allow it.

She was fifty-four
when the tree was seventeen.
Fifty-eight,
when it turned twenty-one.
Sixty-seven,
when it turned thirty
and rose,
full of flowers and freshness.
And just like she promised herself,
she didn’t allow any
leaf to change color,
she didn’t allow any
flower to wilt.

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