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

wings unfurl swirling rainbows

from which champagne colored eyes

see a multitude of possibilities—

from that opening, from that wound

that started like an insatiable itch,

a mysterious longing for light–

from that space and focus of pain

bloomed the song of summer,

birthed a patient hider,

a thrower of voices, a winged symbol

of resilience—staying underground

for as long as needed—

seventeen years or forty-seven,

nursing roots of trees, absorbing

moon-drenched waters,

clothing yourself in earth,

until your back thrums, until

what little, stumbling strength

you have turns into grappling hooks,

and you find yourself emerging

from your own life—climbing

towards what you never knew

you wanted, until you can say,

like me, I am a walking opening,

I am a living wound, I am

the giving birth to myself, 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 spreading to the tips

Of your fingers, without being able to stop them?

Imagine you were really a fire of purple

And blazing red, imagine you ingested

Bits of the sun and now bloomed orange

And lemon and vermillion,

Imagine reminding everyone of apple cider

And hay bales, and mazes made of corn fields.

Can you imagine?

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