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.
Blue wings beat against the
until they shatter.
What is the price of freedom?
What if they lock you up again?
What if they force you to hide?
You’re allowed to exist.
You don’t need their permission.
You aren’t hurting them.
Why should you hide
just because they don’t want to see people like you?
They’re the one with the problem.
Ivory bars encase the privileged sparrow.
It stays in its world,
the only world it knows,
and it hates those who change it,
who challenge it.
It teaches its babies the same.
One way to think.
And the babies accept it,
why venture far?
Birds are meant to fly.
Open the cages.
Let them learn.
Let us all be free.
I want to drive to the end of nowhere with you,
down memory lane where we will see
who we used to be.
Do you remember
how young we were,
when we could conquer the world,
when nothing could defeat us?
Is that trust still there?
Could we get together
and go back?
Would we recognize each other
if not by face?
Are we the same at the core?
Are those girls gone?
We could stand in the same place,
the same house,
feel our ghosts,
but feel nothing.
Do you think of me?
Do you feel nothing?
The dirt, brown thorns peel off the stem
of the flower,
the red rose bud drooping in the
The bush didn’t last long.
Neither will we.
Inside our brick house, the fireplace dims.
My sisters gather closer to it.
I’m the strong sister.
I’m the one who does without.
My sisters believe our parents will come back
They left to get help.
The nearest settlement is fifty miles.
If they made it,
they won’t make it back.
“We need to gather more food.” I say this everyday.
“When can we rest?” the youngest sister (fifteen) asks.
“When winter wins.”
The girls listen to me, for now.
We move easily in the frigid air, for now.
There’s four warm bodies trying to fight the cold, for now.
You hold the tip of the stick over
the flame and wait for the marshmallow to
melt with pain.
Next light a candle and lick your
fingers before they pass over the wick.
Did you feel it?
Did it burn?
I know you own many books
on the Salem witches and their bonfires.
You read them when no one’s home.
You press cigarettes to your arm when you think
I asked you once if you thought
that you were a witch.
You thought I was a child.
You started closing your blinds. And maybe that’s better.
When you went missing, it was like you were already gone.
I feel her reading over
Her hands rest on top
of my head.
She likes touching.
She reaches around me and scrolls
My confession reflects in her eyes.
Her bubblegum lips form
It doesn’t matter what they say. Her voice
Lull me to sleep, Miss Lullaby.