April 15, 2024

my daughter was born                                                                         

I feel I was born

with a full head of hair,                                                                         

torn between a heart full of love,

an adorable laugh–                                                                               

a mind of malice–

who knew the cherub                                                                             

a lifelong match of

would become such a                                                                             

tug of war rips open

royal pain in the ass?                                                                             

an existential callus.


“your twenties are the age                                                                   

“I’m in my twenties now.

to be selfish.”                                                                                           

I wasn’t raised to be selfish.”

but I never got to finish                                                                         

but I never learned to relish

what I started before                                                                               

in what I accomplished

I veered my ship to                                                                                  

or learned who my true

uncharted territory.                                                                                 

self really was.


I don’t need to hate her                                                                           

I don’t need to hate her

just intimidate her,                                                                                 

just imitate her, adulate her,

then maybe I can relate to her.                                                             

then maybe I can relate to her.     


she’s got the best of me                                                                           

she rejected me,

and the best of him.                                                                                 

so I embodied him.

what kind of stroke of luck                                                                     

how did her blame

did she manage to win?                                                                           

turn to shame residing within?


she garners attention                                                                               

I know misogyny’s outdated,

without intention                                                                                       

female comparison’s overrated.

of entrancing those in her path                                                               

I was born to shine on my own;   

without exemption.                                                                                   

insecurity’s not worth the shade.


she’s got the worst of me                                                                           

I am more than the parts of them.

and the worst of him.                                                                                 

got his zeal, her charisma,        

I know all of the spots that hurt.                                                             

my interpretation: an enigma. 

where, oh, where do I begin?                                                                   

I am the teachers, coaches, writers, and leaders

putting on the pressure, refining just right

to form a gem.


damn, it feels good to be me.


Kailani Norwell is an amateur writer. She writes for the love of writing. It is her sincerest form of expression—a way to put her wide-ranging ideas and life experiences into something cohesive. As a clinical therapist, she helps others find, listen to, and use their voice. And her writing is her voice. The world as she experiences it is her inspiration, and her love of personal flair fuels her style. She doesn’t think she’s to write the next great American novel, but she’s to write something. Stay curious.



Featured image by Vince Fleming.