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Sparkling eyes and tender flesh are shielded 
From the world in a tight hug.
A photograph captures my father’s love.
Gentle waves come home to shore, sloshing against the sand, 
A constant in this changing land.

Sunset paints the azure sky, 
And its fiery orb disappears into cool gray water.
A paradise in a different world,
Away from troubles and danger,
During innocent days I can no longer remember.

Blue balloons and princess gowns and smiles from ear to ear. 
A sprightly girl, I put on shows for all to see.
My dad’s Brown Eyed Girl;
He’d take me dancing in the living room and give me a good twirl.
These are the days I’ve come to miss, 
And I wish I’d taken two bags of Oreos rather than one. 

Friday night crime shows, or perhaps a girl with ruby shoes
My parents would welcome me into their arms for a movie or two. 
Easy Sunday mornings and breakfast at noon
From the radio floats the constant loop 
That is my dad’s signature tune. 

I couldn’t wait to be older and live on my own, 
Like the adults in the shows that I came to know.
I was always too busy, I was always too tired,
I put in more effort than was required. 

Mistakes found me by the dozen, relationships suffered, 
I wish I had swiped left before there was no more of me to offer. 
Unsatisfied and hungry, ready for more, 
I jumped on new freedoms when I saw the open door.

Now that I’ve grown in many ways, 
I look back and think and wish I could stay
In one of those times where the horizon was clear
And decisions about college wouldn’t come up the next year. 

I take bigger portions, I dress in my own style, 
Who would’ve guessed beauty standards would grow 
Far more than a mile. 

I fear for my future, and I fear for my now. 
I know I’d get through it if someone told me how. 
My parents astound me in so many ways; 
They do the unfathomable each and every day. 
For a girl who can barely find her way home, 
The world is a shark, looming with the unknown. 

What lies in the future, no one can tell. 
Before it gets better, it’s sure to be hell. 
I don’t think I’m ready, and there’s so much at stake.
Perhaps I should be left in the oven to bake. 

Everyone’s getting older; I wish it would stop. 
I’d pay millions to the man who could turn back the clock. 
I long for the good times, I long for simple days, 
Yet I know no matter how many stars I wish on,
The now is here to stay. 

I’ll smile and laugh about the future. 
I’ll even put on a brave face, 
But not for a second should you doubt 
I’d rather be some other place.


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