(Photo illustration by Anya Thakur)
Liberty High School

Poem: As She Pleases

“As She Pleases” is a poem written by 14-year-old poet and women’s advocate Anya Thakur. She works to empower and uplift communities as founder of GirlUp Dallas, a UN Women organization, and a MetoWe partner with ArtRising, which provides arts enrichment to underprivileged communities and creates diverse programming for South and East Asian women. Hosting education, self-defense, and language and literature classes to empower rural women in Delhi, Mumbai, and Munipur, and humanitarian efforts with Myna Mahila, which empowers women in rural India through health education, her women’s advocacy promotes UN Women’s mission to ensure a fair and equitable future, and she has traveled throughout the United States and India to speak for girl’s education and empowerment.

I’ve been trying to see a cherry blossom my whole life.

she would be perfect, and impossible.

a balancing act of checkered red dresses curving to the lines of her body and chestnut curls and hazelnut streaks slipping down her back as her ponytail unravels.

body arching gracefully as if swaying in the wind like the limbs of the trees above.

neck craning upwards, face thrown towards the sky, and arms suspended in the air in a dance, one reaching up to finally grasp the blossoms and the other stretched out like a wing.

eyes alert and intrigued, a fine film of chlorophyll and viridescent fertile crescents.

a hollywood vignette of pale skies and midnight buildings, blurred and blackened tree silhouettes, and lights down low, a miasma of sparks and fireflies.

hovering, slipping out of my grasp and dissolving to sooty mascara and blurry hands. flying away to captivate someone new, out of my grasp.

I’ve been trying to see a cherry blossom my whole life.

but I didn’t wait for the blossoms to fall down to me. I watched them up where i couldn’t reach, in the skies, to admire, to love and covet, to adore.

then waited for them to rustle, to sway for a split second, to slip so I could see them, hold them, pick them apart and rip them to milky white petals.

yet they grow and blossom, fall and sigh into the ground, dissolve and break down, and grow again for themselves. they don’t owe it to me to stoop down or stretch to the clouds.

they grow, they fall as they please, as I wait.

and she guards each fragment of her story, lest I crown her my queen and watch and wait.

as she pleases.