The Gift of Seeing Our Breath

The Gift of Seeing Our Breath
Jennifer Angelina Petro



As a child, as summer slipped into fall,
And the first frost shrouded the grass in little, dissolvable crystals,
I would go outside first thing in the morning
And make my mouth into a wonder-filled O,
And breathe. And when I saw my breath
Spill wispy veils upwards into the air, like so many unfurling ghosts,
I rejoiced and ran in my footy pajamas back to my bed and covers,
To contemplate this most marvelous thing.


My friends and I walked to school back then,
And on the first day it was cold enough
To see your breath, every few steps
One of us would say: “Look! I can see my breath!”
And we would stop and we would see and we would say:
“That’s so cool!”


This morning I saw a little girl step from her front door,
Make her mouth into a wonder-filled O, and breathe.
I just caught the look of amazement in her eyes as I drove past.



What a gift this being alive, this being able to see our breath,
This casting of feathery nets that needn’t catch anything into an invisible sea of blue,
This gentle launching of ships of clouds—
What a gift to live in amazement,
What a gift to be able, on the coldest of days,
To be reminded we are alive, we are warm in here,
We are message bearers sharing silken signals,
“This is mine,” we say, “and I share it with you.”
We are makers of clouds and shepherds of little flocks of adventurous sheep,
And not a single one of us breathes alone,
We share the breath of those we fear
And those we love, as summer slips into fall
And the world becomes shrouded in frost,
And coldness touches everything—pause,
Let us make our heart into a wonder-filled O
And breathe, letting our warmth spread defiantly into the cold.


And one day when we breathe our last
Our spirits will spill upwards in feathery spirals
And be carried on the shoulders of the breath
Of the living, and we will rise, our souls shaped like
Wonder-filled O’s, and we will slip into the arms of angels
Who will bear us back to a bed of softest down,
Tuck us in to rest, kiss our forehead
And whisper, “Rest now. Tomorrow is a new day and there is much to do,
And many people to fill with amazement. ”







All donations go to my transition and to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Up and Running.  Thank you for your support.

Prayers of the Ghosts

Prayers of the Ghosts
Jennifer Angelina Petro


Inside of this forest of skin and bone
The autumn sun shines through the branches,
Evening breathes through the leaves,
Deer step from the center to the edges, silent as sunset,
A stream sculpts a pathway through the trees drawn by a waiting sea,
An owl spreads her wings and glides over the marsh of my fears,
A mountain, full of sleeping momma bears, stands behind me, sturdy and steady,
The moon sings through the crisp air spilling its song through the dancing ferns and whirling leaves,
Ghosts pray in the darkness, spreading ancient hopes and beckoning for light,
While dreams rest on the ground, languished on the cushioned earth and tangled in roots,
Waiting for me to answer the prayers of the ghosts, and set them free, like
Handfuls of butterflies on a newly realized morning in a newly realized spring.






This Being Transgender

This Being Transgender
Jennifer Angelina Petro




Dear Autumn,
This being transgender reminds me of what you must face;
People who haven’t thought of you for ages
Suddenly find themselves thinking of you and lamenting your arrival,
Others find you a fascinating anomaly in an otherwise endless summer
Of sameness and dreamy afternoons;
Others force themselves to stop thinking of you
With hopes of postponing an imaginary, apocalyptic winter,
Still others think about you so much they stop talking to you
And pretend you no longer exist, they fear
Your blazing changes will rub off on them,
They think your very appearance signals a heresy
That will send summer reeling—
Which it does–but not in distress does summer
Go tumbling through the leaves and out of town, it rolls on
Joyous of your presence and relieved
To finally be able to breathe fully and see spring’s children
For who they really are. And the heresy? It is there–
It signals the living fully what Jesus stood for–
And that means comfort zones expanded,
Walls removed, and doors opened into the reality
Of the here and now, 2015.


Dear Autumn,
I see your graceful letting go,
I see you casting gold with trembling fingers,
I see your swaying vulnerability against a stark blue sky,
And I know I let go far less gracefully,
I cling to what must be tossed away,
I flail about believing
There is nothing gold about me
To even bother sharing;
I begin believing those who can longer look at me
Or who dread how I will influence their children—
I know better though, I know they only fear
How I will influence them—how I will magically
Nudge them away from the summer
Of their inner, thinly-hidden discontent
And out into the blazing colors of enlightenment,
I know better, but I cling to brittle branches
Of self-loathing.


Dear Autumn,
So many people tell me they need time to be able to just see me,
Some still believe a death has occurred, and yet, here I stand in my autumnal truth.
You and I both know nothing dies when you arrive;
Summer cartwheels over the hills and warms
Another place happy to be free to think new thoughts,
The leaves you share feed the soil and fertilize the seeds of spring,
The harvest of apples feeds many with mulled sweetness,
And if they could only see you in my soul
And be awed at the revelation of color and the arrival
Of gold and my ability to finally stand in the fifth direction
Of my journey, with all of the certainty of wonder and hope
Of voyaging further into the sky, the streams, the purple mountains,
The heart of love, and the ground of being;
If they would only look in the mirror of their deepest fears—
And see Mary and Jesus looking back at them,
And how the faces of spring infants and angels of flamenco
Gather around the edges of their vision, then maybe they would get it—
Their reflection looks like us and them—it looks like every single tree
To ever wave in the wind and sleep bathed in moonlight,
And just rest easy knowing we are not signaling the end
Of all that is warm and held sacred,
We are heralding the beginning of freedom,
We are taking the leaves of sacredness
And casting them where they truly belong–
Into an infinite sky of infinite variety.












All donations go towards my transition and to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Up and Running.  Thank you <3

What the Cicada Sees, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

What the Cicada Sees


Jennifer Angelina Petro


looking up at tree


After combing through
Layers of moist earth and mazes
Of roots, the cicada nymph
Blooms from the ground
And begins climbing
Seeing only sky,
And branches
Waving: “Come on,
You can do it!” And it climbs–
Eyes on the prize, heart pumping,
Wings tingling waiting for space
To unlatch and spread,
Voice still trapped in an ever
Thinning skin, confidence
Growing with every plunge
Of its hooks–higher
Until it suddenly stops
In mid-motion,
Pauses in time and space,
Unable to go even one more step
In its old clothes,
And then,
And then it gives birth unto itself,
Slowly sloughing off
Doubts and fears,
Never once losing track
Of the heaven awaiting
And the heaven of the moment,
And the heaven of simply opening
Itself to the sky,
And letting the song it has been
Composing for years soar
Through the summer trees
Announcing to all things
The truth of transformation,
The truth that we are all
Bound to change,
The truth that even the darkest time
Spent among roots and soil,
Leads to wings, leads
To open spaces, leads to becoming
Who you really are.




All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog afloat and to my Transition.  Thank you.  Love, Jennifer

A Life Lived With Wings, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

A Life Lived With Wings


Jennifer Angelina Petro






You see the opening
From which the wings
Unfurled swirling rainbows,
From which the champagne
Colored eyes saw a multitude
Of skies,
From that opening, from that
Wound that must have
Started like an insatiable
Itch, from that space
And focus of pain
Bloomed the song of summer,
Birthed a patient hider,
A thrower of voices,
A winged symbol
Of patience–stay underground
For as long as you need–
Seventeen years or forty-seven,
However long–nurse
The roots, absorb moon-drenched
Waters, cloth yourself in earth
Until your back thrums,
Until your desires turn
Into grappling hooks
And you find yourself
Emerging from your own life–
Climbing towards what you want,
Until you can say, like me,
I am the walking opening,
I am the living wound,
I am the giving birth,
I am the one with rainbows
In my eyes, I am the one
Who sings deep into the sky
The story of a life lived
With wings.





All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Afloat and my Transition.

Thank you.  Love, Jennifer

Can You Imagine?

Can You Imagine?
Jennifer Angelina Petro

Who would ever tell autumn leaves
They really should have stayed green?
Sure they were born all manner of greens—
Supple, minty, luminous shades;
Can you imagine a moment knowing
You were golden inside even though outside
You had always presented otherwise?
Can you imagine the terrible joy?
Can you imagine new colors beginning
To show and spread to the tips
Of your fingers, without being able to stop them?
Imagine you were really a fire of purple
And blazing red inside, imagine you ingested
Bits of the sun and now bloomed orange
And lemon and vermillion from within,
Imagine reminding everyone of apple cider
And hay bales, and mazes made of corn fields.
Can you imagine changing?
Can you imagine opening enough
To include the miraculous?
Can you imagine what it is like to realize
Once you discover who you really are
That you have to let go of root and branch,
And leap into the wind, swirl onto rivers
And streams, and dance into the wild,
Blue, accepting sky without knowing
Where you will land?









Donations go to Jennifer’s transition and to keeping the WonderChild Blog alfoat.  Thank you.  <3

Say Her Name

Say Her Name
Jennifer Angelina Petro




Say Her Name
Tamara Dominguez
Say Her Name
Elisha Walker
Say Her Name
Kandis Capri
Say Her Name
Amber MonRoe
Say Her Name
Shade Schuler
Say Her Name
K.C. Haggard
Say Her Name
India Clarke
Say Her Name
Ashton O’Hara
Say Her Name
Mercedes Williamson
Say Her Name
London Kiki Chanel
Say Her Name
Mya Shawatza Hall
Say Her Name
Keyshia Blige
Say Her Name
Kristina Gomez Reinwald
Say Her Name
Bri Golec
Say Her Name
Penny Proud
Say Her Name
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus
Say Her Name
Yazmin Vash Payne
Say Her Name
Ty “Nunee” Underwood
Say Her Name
Lamia Beard
Say Her Name
Papi Edwards
Say Her Name
Kiesha Jenkins
Say Her Name
Say Her Name
Say Her Name.



Spirit shepherd
Welcome Her home,
Goddess of trees
And of mountains,
Shelter Her home,
Shepherdess of lions and deer
Lift Her on your back
Of grace and power
And carry Her home,
Exalt Her by raining down
Awakening to the masses,
To Her being human,
To Her being transgender,
To Her just being a person
Who should have been able
To be what She needed
And done what She wanted
Without fear of harm;
Goddess of light and of darkness
Hold Her family like
The earth holds seeds in winter;
Shepherdess of Moonlight
And dragonflies, find the way
For all to see: this hatred
Must stop, this ignorance
Must stop, this violence
Must stop, this acting out
Twisted insecurities
Must stop—
And enlightenment
Needs to grow–opening hearts
Need to grow.
Brothers and sisters
Join me
And Say Her name,
Pray Her name,
Shout and sing and chant
Her name, cherish Her name,
Treasure Her name,
Speak Her name as if it was your own,
Whisper Her name to the trees,
Weep Her name to the spaces
She once filled,
Plant Her name
In the collective consciousness of the world
And allow it to grow
Into fields of sunflowers,
Write Her name
On the pages of every heart,
Sculpt Her name
With the tender hands of
Mercy and compassion,
Breathe Her name
Into the nostrils
Of every man—enliven them
With self-understanding
And the ability to see past
Their own ill-conceived
And irrational fears,
Baptize Her name
With justice and laws
That makes sense
And that work—

Brothers and sisters
Rise up, take one another
By the hand and lift up Her name
In your voices of
Is Enough,
And Say Her Holy Name
Tamara Dominguez
Elisha Walker
Kandis Capri
Amber MonRoe
Shade Schuler
K.C. Haggard
India Clarke
Ashton O’Hara
Mercedes Williamson
London Kiki Chanel
Mya Shawatza Hall
Keyshia Blige
Kristina Gomez Reinwald
Bri Golec
Penny Proud
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus
Yazmin Vash Payne
Ty “Nunee” Underwood
Lamia Beard
Papi Edwards
Kiesha Jenkins







A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem

A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem
By Jennifer Angelina Petro


sunflower seed photo



Look very different
From the way
They start out–
Little seeds tucked in hypnotic
Spirals, and yet sunflowers
Do not need to prove they exist,
They simply open
Their palms to the light
And say: “Here I am,”
And everyone sees them
And everyone understands
Seed and blossom are not
Two opposite ends
Of a spectrum,
Neither seed nor flower choose
To be what they are,
They simply exist,
And everyone smiles
And says: “Beautiful.”



You see
The other morning
I stopped to marvel
At a sunflower,
And as I stood admiring
The strength to stand
So tall, the dignity
To shine so much light
From such a round, lantern face
I heard it speak:
“I know you see me,
I know you see beauty
When you see me–
Go ahead embrace me.”
And so I did.
We swayed a moment
Slow dancing to the music
Of the early morning sun,
And as we did I heard it speak again:
“I have moved on
From husk and shell,
I have moved on
From living hiding
In the blind ground.
I am here now,
And you see me,
But did you know
There are those
Who do not believe
I exist? They ask me
To prove I belong,
They ask me to justify
My being a sunflower
Because they only knew me
As a seed.
I know you understand,
I know you live as one of us.
Help them to see.”
And so I promised
The sunflower
I would write this poem.
Sunflower seeds
May or may not know
They are sunflowers
Waiting in the wings
To bloom, in the same way
A sunflower can look back
And see it once was a seed.
For all we know sunflower seeds
Might think they are, and will never
Be, something other
Than how they presently present, and if pressed
With questions might ask one of their own:
What is a sunflower?



When is their moment
Of awakening, when they realize
They have a deep, undeniable,
Longing for light?
Is it when they finally crack
Under the pressure of trying
To remain as they have always
Appeared yet for some
Unfathomable reason know
They are something other?
Is it when their seams burst
Unable to withstand the pull
Of warmth and daylight?
Do you think it is possible
They are frightened
When they finally lose themselves
And understand they really are
Someone they never knew they were?
Do you think it is hard for them
To dig through darkness,
To push past rocks, to believe
Another life awaits, where light
Will caress their hands and face?
Or do you think they believe
That there is no possible way
A flower lives inside them?
That they are still themselves
As they weave through the dark earth?

The sunflower asked me
To write this poem to reassure you:
The essence of the seed is shadowed
In their faces and more importantly, it remains is visible
In their spirits, in the beauty
They express to the world.

The next time you see a sunflower
Embrace it gently through your misgivings,
Know nothing is ever lost—
The shape changes, the beauty remains
Only now it is held in the arms
Of the open, unconditional sky.



sunflowers tall






All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog afloat and towards my transition.  Thank you for your support.  Jennifer

On the Devotion of Shaving

On the Devotion of Shaving
Jennifer Angelina Petro



One by one,
Finger by finger,
I shave them
Delicately and
With a certain,
Indescribable joy;
I am amazed at how fast
The hair grows on them,
And on my legs, arms,
And chest—places
I never before shaved
Nor ever dreamed of shaving;
Now, every day,
I bend forward, pausing a moment
To feel how much this feels
Like prayer, and I draw
A Venus razor up and under,
Around and around
My calves and thighs, like
An instrument of devotion,
And my legs are so
Happy, so grateful to be touched
And tended, and when I am finished
And feel their smoothness
And how they thrum with being loved,
They tell me again and again
How this was always
What they wanted;
And as I draw the razor
Over my arms, they too shine
With gladness, as does
My chest, although, to be completely
Honest, the skin on my chest isn’t
As happy about being shaved
As the rest of this body,
That said, it loves the absence
Of hair and the silkiness
Is remarkable, as is the strange sense
Of being a mother,
That I have been living
Shrouded with the fur of a father,
And now as it falls into the water
Of the tub, and my skin sings
And rejoices to be unburdened,
I see I am a priestess
And this body a vessel
Of holiness, and every stroke
Of the razor, every experiment
With Nair, every time I run
A finishing razor to find
The stray hairs, I am tending
A temple where Goddess lives
And aches to be known and to know,
Where she shares lotus flowers
And sandalwood, where she kisses
My soul, and breathes over my fears
And cares turning them
Into dragonflies and milkweed seeds,
Where she tells me again
And again, “Thank you
For honoring me with the truth,
Thank you for being born and being
Your very own mother,
No wonder you are tired,
Allow me to nurse you
Into fullness and cradle you
And sing to you
As you rest in the grace
Of the revelation
I have given, and how bravely
You have surrendered
And how naturally
You have stepped into your power,
How carefully you are tending
The garden of who you really are,
Come, rest my daughter,
Allow me to hold you
As sweetly as you are holding me.







Donations go to my transition.  Thank you.  <3

Questions for You

Questions For You
Jennifer Angelina Petro



My wise friend, Mika and I were talking recently and she observed that if we can allow negative actions, words, and energy from some negative people to drain us, then the implication is that we can allow positive actions, words, and energy of positive people to fill us. I am working on ways to do this, for while I have received TONS and TONS of loving, kind, encouraging, compassionate, and just plain AMAZING support as I have come out as trans, there have been a few people who have said some very cruel things, mean things, reprehensible things, and acted in heartbreaking ways towards me. And my silly mind starts to focus on those few instead of the many, many, MANY who support me. And then I begin to fade, nudge closer to a depression that seems suddenly so far away, and I become afraid, feel guilty, begin to believe I am doing something wrong, when in fact I am not DOING anything. I did not choose to be trans. I am not BECOMING a woman. I AM a woman who is finally conscious of this beautiful and affirming truth and am simply moving closer and closer to fully living and presenting as the person I am. I was born the right gender, wrong body parts. And so my loving supporters, what things do you do to help increase the positive, to draw that loving energy in? This is without a doubt the most intense time of my life—and the most wonder-filled, and beautiful, and yet, it is hard to know there are people who a few days ago were my friends that now literally hate me, and that’s hard. Really hard. And thank Goddess there is YOU. If you’re reading this I believe you’re one of the ones who love my heart. Who looks past what I may wear or what I may call myself, who doesn’t worry about losing anything, but instead is happy they are gaining the best me ever. What suggestions do you have for increasing the positive, for helping a negative-focuser like me to focus on the good–the good that is everywhere. Truly the outpouring of love I am receiving is incredible, and I feel guilty the haters affect me so much, like I am insulting you. I do not mean to, my dear friends. This is all new to me—this complete acceptance of who I am, and I am so happy, really, giddy-magically happy, and need and want your continued support, but I am working with a mind that is trained in negativity and self-hatred. I would be honored to hear how you gather in the positive and release the negative, how you focus on the positive and ignore the negative. You totally rock my friends. I love you. Yours with grace and love, Jennifer








Donations go to a fund for my transition.  Thank you for supporting me and this journey.  <3