“time-lapse of girlhood” by Uma Menon

Issue 18 / Summer 2019 / Abortion Ban Protest Special Issue


as i grow up

i learn

to spit out words

of distaste

to bite only the cookies

that are under-baked

to rename my identity

out of spite


in response

my mother tells me that

she who asks for forgiveness

for someone else’s sin

is a mother

& sinks back in

to the blades of her shoulders


one day i realized my rage

would never be more than

personality disorder

my passion

would never be more than



would be nothing more than

an angry girl


at fifteen,

i imagine a voice inside my stomach

only to silence it

in fear that someone else

                                    will hear it

& condemn a worthless life

keep my feet on the ground

swelling to match

a full earth


Uma Menon is a fifteen-year-old writer and political activist from Winter Park, Florida. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Cincinnati Review, and Ruminate Magazine, among others. Her first full-length poetry collection, a commentary on race, gender, and identity, was shortlisted by the 2019 erbacce prize. “time-lapse of girlhood” was originally published by IRIS Magazine. Uma hopes to see her generation become the first to recognize womxn and gender minorities with equal status.

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