some days i've learned to be pretty
After Reyna Biddy
By Taylor Bowman
I find a sliver of happiness in my tiniest features.
my slim, but somewhat stubby fingers.
I only like them with nail polish on, my ankles
so much, I think they always look the slimmest
in skinny jeans or in high heeled shoes. my
mother never taught me to be beautiful.
she wasn’t the kindest and
I can’t believe I still learned how to love with
an open heart.
I’ve become her when she arose at 6am, some-
times earlier, one of the only times and spaces she
could have to herself. she told me at 12 or 13 that I
wasn’t my true self yet. I didn’t know if she meant
that physically or emotionally, or both, but I’m so
stubborn I’ve been trying to prove her wrong ever
since. maybe this was her way of saying
you will be okay with yourself and
I don’t cringe when I catch a reflection of myself
in the mirror or forget to look in it entirely.
I smile at myself. I like my brown skin. I think it’s
okay to take up this amount of space. I won’t
let how I feel on other days affect how I feel on
I choose to fall in love with me.
About the Author
Taylor Bowman is a Black poetry and fiction writer and public educator. She holds two degrees; a B.A. in Poetry and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education. Originally from Michigan, she won her first poetry competition back in her hometown at the age of thirteen and has been writing ever since. Her poetry has been published in print and in online literary journals such as The Lab Review volume 2, issue 2, the Columbia Poetry Review, no. 30, and Thank You For Swallowing, Vol. 2, issue 5.
She currently lives in Chicago, following her dreams of writing poetry and fiction and educating public school kids. She resides with her husband and two cats, Amaterasu and Artemis.