When I was a little girl mother always insisted
No Boys
It was a prophecy, a warning
My legs grew longer, curvier since that time
My breast became such
And my abdomen lost its straight figure
Replaced my curves
Mother saw the change in me
And her prophecy change from
No Boys to Stay Focused In School
As if my body would affect my work ethic
She warned me about the stares, the harassment
She warned me, but I had no knowing what she meant
I didn’t know that street men weren’t calling me pretty
Out of kindness
Mother told me it was my fault for maturing too early
I’m just a kid, still just a kid
Her kid

My first kiss was stolen by Elizabeth Rowan.
Mother said No Boys, so I listened
Elizabeth isn’t a boy, but a lady
She has brown eyes, eyes that pierce into
Your soul, and curly brown hair, with caramel
Skin, light freckles on her face
She’s beautiful, being with her I felt
Beautiful too, not dirty when old men told me they
Want to deflower me
But that’s okay now because Elizabeth is a woman
Not a boy
A lady
Not a boy
A girl
Not a boy trapped

Mother always said No Boys
But how do I tell her that there isn’t a boy?
That the boy is in fact a girl, lady, woman
Or that when I look in the mirror
The boy she’s referring to is me
A boy trapped.

A young woman looks at the camera

Clark Makaba

Grade: 11 / Sec. V
Ross Sheppard School
Edmonton, AB

“Mi poem was inspired by my messy discovery of who I am, who I like and how I have no way of knowing what comes next. It was also inspired by my own relationship with my parents and my sexual orientation. ”



When she's not writing or discussing politics and social issues, Clark Makaba watches true crime documentaries. A grade 11 student from Edmonton, who wishes to one day publish her works about queerness, murder mystery, and BIPOC. Like most people, she just wants to know where she fits in the world.

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