She wants to write a happy poem about love
and success and hope.
She wants to write about moving
and her world changing.
She’s stronger now,
even though she’s terrified and misses home.
Writing it is difficult.
The words fly, then dip
down under the water
where she can’t breathe.
Because getting here means
This poem is happy.
In the end, she is happy.
She had to do this happy.
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Silk fabric of the deepest red
swaths the baby,
the symbol of a stillborn.
Baby is placed into the casket
The top closes.
Into the ground
all the way
Mother, almost Mother,
leaves the baby room untouched.
The pale yellow walls mock her.
Baby shower gifts gather dust
in the closet.
Try again? Again?
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When you stand alone
and understand that you can be on your own,
when you transform
from the kid
to the protector,
when you find
that is when you fly.
We begin as the kid
nursing the bird back to health
and letting go of it,
of our past.
But what we didn’t know
was that we become the bird.
And we have to leave that kid.
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The memories hurt my stomach.
The future is fear.
The past is pain.
The present slowly ticks away
as I fight between the two realities:
walk away and forward
or stay and let it consume me.
The past is safe.
Will I ever relax again
if I leave?
Will I ever be calm?
How can I be?
I can’t pretend that nothing’s
We’re not the same people
despite how badly I want everything
to be frozen in time.
I’m living a dream, a memory.
I’m afraid to be put under
There’s that small panic
that I might never wake up.
We know the ending of our stories.
But we panic, refuse to accept.
The same way I refuse to accept
that the people from my memories
Eyeshadow, concealer, lipstick, highlighter, blush,
going out shoes,
all checked off the list.
She draws his eye.
She ignores him,
dances like he’s not watching.
She reels him in without trying;
she doesn’t want him.
She wants the attention. She wants to turn him down. She wants to be wanted.
Her eyes linger on a girl by the bar.
No one notices.
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Tree tops sway,
leaves darkening to a shamrock color.
That’s when you notice the grey sky
and the cool undercurrent in the wind.
Listen to the familiar creaking sound
of the branches and bark rubbing together.
That’s when the leaves flip,
white side up.
The air’s almost electric,
the humidity heavy with coming rain.
until the drops fall,
heavy and fat and
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The armchair by the curb marked the end of my childhood,
the tan belly of the back rest sloping.
The tattered fabric flapped as the trash men loaded it
onto the truck.
I used to curl up beside my dad
as he told me made up stories:
“The Tree Monster,”
“The Snow Monster,”
“The Adventures of One Little Girl.”
Beside the fireplace the footrest grew
warm from the dancing flames.
The fire enchanted me,
still enchants me.
Six months before I graduated from college,
a plush leather chair replaced
the old one.
It fit with the new carpet, the fancy doorknobs, the Australian Shepard puppy.
I wasn’t nostalgic.
In this world, there are only two categories
and everything falls into one of them.
An action is good or bad.
There is no it depends.
There are no explanations.
It just is.
In this world, we gender inanimate objects.
Girl toys, like dolls.
Boy toys, like blocks.
Cooking. Cars. Clothes.
No crossing lines.
In this world, we fear the undefinable.
We have to categorize.
We have to make it make sense.
We have to teach stability, teach fear of change.
We have to base our opinions on the little pieces we see,
these half truths because we don’t like being wrong.
It’s hard to be wrong.
It’s hard to be open minded, to put in the effort to change our thoughts.
Isn’t it safer to return to our hometowns and be told we’re right?
There’s nothing to fear.
There’s nothing to change.
In this world, we are always right.
In this world, we only listen when we agree.
Did you like this poem? Leave a comment or continue reading. This next poem is about oppression and being free to be yourself. http://www.wedbushwrite.com/open-cages/
The first shot of cinnamon whiskey stung
but Leila chased it with another one.
Gotta get there faster,
make this awkwardness go away.
It wasn’t about feeling comfortable,
She wanted to lose her fears,
to say what she couldn’t and do
what she wouldn’t.
If the world was slow to change,
she would have to change faster.
The cinnamon whiskey burned
but the next shot, the fourth or fifth,
She felt better.
Everything was better.
She winked at that someone across the room.
That girl didn’t notice.
But not noticing is better,
hiding is better,
I pop pizza bites in the microwave
and call it dinner.
No time. No time.
Everyone else skips.
No time. No time.
Everyone else procrastinates.
No time. No time. No time.
I already ate.
Everyone else is deciding on food.
No time No time No time No time No time No time No time No time No time.