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A Birthday Poem: About A Woman I Know

Back in 20 August 2016, a good friend of mine named Astrid, celebrated her birthday. She did not ask for gifts, but challenged me a birthday poem instead. Challenge accepted! And I began to recall every single memory I shared with her.

We firstly met in 2006 during our freshman year in university. We were not close. We didn’t share our personal story. I didn’t even have a clue where she lived or how many siblings she had. We didn’t hang out.

We got closer since two or three years ago when we met at Indonesian independent film screening in South Jakarta. She was there, serving as organizer. And I was there, spending Saturday night with not-so-mainstream activity. Since that day on, I lose count of days I hang out with her — or text each other with our stupid jokes.

And as far as I can remember, Astrid is one of a kind female friend I know. I am hoping that you can see her through this poem. It’s called About a Woman I Know.

Now, meet Astrid: a nature lover, book junkie, and literature enthusiast!


She is not the girl who wears lipstick

only to seduce your ego

But, she…

will take you out from the fake city lights

to places where sun looks bigger than apartments and malls

She will take you by the hand,

breathing fresh air at the top of the mountain,

screaming your gratitude to God,

and hearing the echo the next second,

shaking hands with locals,

making friends with strangers you meet at traditional dirty market

probably with your feet bare

with Rp20,000 in your pocket jeans


You can’t drag her down

because she is stronger than your bones

She buries her insecurities at the bottom of the sea

because she has no time to whine

and mourn over the scars

She is too busy celebrating her life

so that she can share her joy

to people with hope

in their eyes.

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