Coming of Age

Coming of Age



How did that shy little girl become a woman?


I saw a predator pulling on my skirt

in my reoccurring dream at fourteen.

I recognized the old man’s face,

and the memories found a place

within my mind

as I tried so hard to push them out

since I was four

or five,

maybe three.

Ashamed and embarrassed to be a girl,

I began wearing pants.


I’d never told… I didn’t dare to whisper,  

not even to my big sister,

although, we had shared all: the pain of a drunken father,

the sorrow of an abused mother, and

a grandmother at the heavy hands of her own son.

Yet I hid that secret about him even from myself,

carrying it in silence as it fueled my shame.


Two decades later, when I finally blurted out

what our grandfather had done, I found 

I wasn’t alone.

But who would’ve believed us? 

They trusted him, and we were nothing,

(I’d heard so often from our father)

just two little girls.


How did that damaged little girl become a woman?


By the blue mirror of the flowing water,

in deep green grass,

my innocence was taken without consent.

I was still grateful the boy took me home, and

he didn’t leave me all alone.

I might have jumped.

My grandma asked, but I didn’t tell. 

I feared I’d be scolded and blamed,

but to ride on his motorcycle meant

to borrow freedom, 

which I didn’t have.

Freedom to believe my life could be better than this,

that I must not follow in the path of brokenness.

The wind blowing in my face and

brushing against my limbs, and

the powerful sound of the engine spoke in unison: 

“At this moment, you are free.”


How did that trusting little girl become a woman?


One day I spread real wings and

flew thousands of miles away

to leave everything damaged behind

but found that shattered lives are not easily mended,

especially if you keep the wrongs in the dark.

I recognized that no matter how far you flee, 

deep within, you’ll carry along with your past and

hold in your heart all the blame

and all the shame,

unless you unlock the ifs and the whys

and put the blame where it truly belongs.

I learned that the people you trust the most 

will hold power to betray.


When I was forced on my back once again, 

and this time, I conceived life,

that’s when I truly became a woman, a mother, and left that naive little girl behind.

Sinthia Steel Smith


Sinthia Steel Smith is an emerging poet and writer. At an early age, she began writing and used poetry as an outlet to process her grief over injustice and emotional pain. When Sinthia finally realized she has a voice that could help others, she began submitting her work to literary journals and magazines. Aiming to bring light into the hidden things and expose despicable monsters who sometimes live nearer than you think. Her poem "Held Hostage" was published in Unlimited Literature Magazine’s first print issue (2020) and more of her work is forthcoming online and in print. Several of her essays and flash fiction have been chosen as a finalist in numerous contests over the last few years. To help her continue her writing, please support Sinthia on Patreon at


  1. sensitive and poetic in a most crass day and age.

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