musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Challenge – Day 7

 Welcome to Day 7 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

WOW, one week down! Seven poems so far… gulp, 23 to go. That sounds like a lot… I’d better not psyche myself out! Thanks to everyone reading and commenting. 7 winners so far, and more to come.

Comment on today’s poem to win a copy of my poetry book, “(After) Confession… I’m giving away a copy every day. Scroll down below the poem for more details about this Poetry Challenge.

But first, congratulations, Terri Lynn S, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Terri, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

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Challenging today! Not finishing until late, not quite satisfied with the ending. Progress, not perfection…

Wishes for 11-Year Old Me


Weekends you visited relatives.
While the adults smoked, talked, played 500,
you grabbed the stack of women’s magazines
ubiquitous in homes of grandmas, aunts. You
were dazzled by shiny pages bright
with exclamations and color. Exquisite
models of femininity smiling, poised,
flawless, bodies curved and slim, skin
smooth, eyes darkened. Sexy, confident,

You inhaled them, planned how
to BE them, absorbed, memorized
beauty tips, fashion dos and don’ts,
products to try, diets to go on,
places to shop, relationship advice.
Magazines were your one-person
bible-study group, and you
were always an excellent
student, such a good

From this far vantage, I
wish for you something
entirely different, my
Darling. To have a dream
of your future vastly greater
than any advertisement
tries to sell you, to know
your worth beyond man-
ufactured beauty ideals. To
not believe you must achieve
some sculpted body or forever
live in shame. To not waste
years, decades, in pursuit
of what will somehow
never never never be

My wish for you, my
Precious, is to truly
know you are Enough
already, at 11, at 53, and
beyond… spectacularly,
beautifully, wholly
Enough. Put down
the magazines. They
can not tell you who
you are. That will
come in time,
with patience,
with growing,
with trust and
love, from

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  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photo credit: Sunyo, and Christoper Campbell, courtesy of


  1. Linda Mudry

    Made me think of what my mother used to say to me: You have to suffer for beauty. It was when I had to have pincurls in my hair or slept on pinchy rollers or wore high heels. Wish we had this more realistic concept of who we are as girls and women when we were growing up. Another great poem.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Yes, suffering and it took a lot of work, too! Thanks, Linda…

  2. Mary Lee Krahn

    I think many women can relate to this poem. It sure resonates with me.

  3. Fiona

    This is wonderful Theresa. And brings back all the yearning and striving….
    I’m so happy to see a change arising, though I think it’s a (very!) long road ahead. But there is hope.

  4. Ann Agrimson

    Yep, I can see myself in your poem. Where did this idea of looking at something as superficial as a magazine to figure out who we are?

  5. Sharon

    I think that even if we aren’t trying to measure up to beautiful women in magazines, we will still struggle with being enough.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Very true, Sharon. I think it’s a practice of having to remind ourselves, over and over again.

  6. Jennifer D-K

    YES. Beautiful!! (though I still long to be a a magazine girl some days. But it’s no longer a serious wish, just an idle longing)

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Jen– yeah, it’s hard to let go of this stuff… we are reminded about it constantly. And it would help if our society had a more positive attitude towards aging. Hopefully that will change!

  7. Serena

    Choking up here… [dabs at eyes with hankie…].
    You nailed it.
    “…one-person bible-study”
    Beautiful. True. Dreadful.

    Thank heavens you save her:
    “my darling”
    “my precious”
    Soft sweet, healing address of unconditional acceptance healed a bit of my 11-year old.

    (Nice use of “ubiquitous” by the way…;-> )

    • Theresa Alberti

      I know so many of us can relate to this… I’m glad they were healing tears.

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