In first grade, you are playing on the jungle gym.
You are climbing by the monkey bars and you tell your friend, Ava,
that one of your arms does not go up all the way,
that your parents say you have to be extra careful playing games because of it.
She does not believe you and grabs your left arm and forces it
to straighten above your head. She does not know that she is hurting you.
Later that year, Finding Nemo is released in theaters.
This becomes your family’s favorite movie.
Nemo has one fin that is much smaller than the other.
He and his father celebrate that he is different.
This part of you still feels unlucky.
Nemo pushes himself to swim as hard as he can out into dark waters
to touch the underbelly of a boat.
You and Nemo both force yourselves forward
when you are constantly told you shouldn’t.
By Adrienne Novy
Adrienne Novy is a poet and teaching artist from the Chicago suburbs studying Creative Writing and Education in Saint Paul, MN. Her work can be found in FreezeRay Poetry, Voicemail Poems, and on Button Poetry. She loves dogs, a good blended chai, and writing in coffee shops. She is a strong believer in that it’s possible to be both cute and powerful at the same time.