Miss America

Growing up, you called me ‘Miss America.’

To be honest, I never saw those words in myself.

I never hoped to win the beauty pageant,

Dressed up in fancy gowns, glitter, or gems,

Or tried to hide behind hours of painted on makeup and hair.

But as I stare across the precipice of this stage,

I see I may have still spent

Most of my life presenting each and every version

Of myself that I thought for sure

Would help me make it to the performance

Of the person I thought it was so important for me to be.

Would the casts surrounding me throughout my years

Find an ever-transitioning character

Dancing, singing, joking, speaking–

Performing in whatever form–

I have temporarily thought would help me feel seen?

Growing up you called me, ‘Miss America.’

To be honest, I see the best and worst of those words in myself today.

— Written by Sandy Heights

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