The Old Arrangement This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


Smallhand
Hesitating before the seven
Big hand
Recently occupying thenine
Me sleepin', smilin' away
Dreamin', dancin' in a faraway land
Aland without cares or sight into this delicate arrangement
Arranged graduallyover time
By the vastly populated confederacy of dunces
Abruptly anunnecessarily loud voice
Faceless and unwanted in the new morningrises
Yells to retrieve me from my sedated paradise
Which I so love andtreasure with closed eyes
"Elliot! Elliot! ELLIOT!
It's time now go!Now, go!
You know, go! Get up and get ready
Get ready for the OH SOIMPORTANT day that awaits you
Get ready and make us proud and go
And followeveryone else, including me and learn
Like everyone else. FOLLOW!
So thatyour place may not be forgotten by you
Go and be reminded and function
Likeyou used to
Are you up yet?"
Alone I stand
In the unwelcoming coldair
Which I so feared the night before
Why? Why must I go and be torturedagainst my will?
Because all my peers do?
Because all my elders did
Andall their elders before them?
Because it's expected and arranged
Standin'there for a minute or two
Debatin' with myself
Debatin' whether or not Ihave to go
After two minutes
Inevitably arriving at the sad sadtruth
Inevitably going and getting ready
45 minutes later
Slick hair,wintergreen breath,
And skin smelling of expensive little soaps
Routinelybought every Tuesday at Tiffany's
45 minutes later I'm late
Makin' Dadlate
Makin' Dad look at his watch constantly
Wishing he could slow downtime
Either that or speed me up for HEAVEN'S SAKE
"How long does ittake to take a shower?"
I run into Dad's car
It's been running for thepast five minutes
"Shorter showers. You got to take shortershowers
What do you do in there anyway? And now I'm late"
I staysilent
Putting shoes on cold feet
Thinkin' to myself over and overagain
Maybe I would go faster
Maybe I would take shorter showers
And bein the car with five minutes to spare
Maybe I would have this fastenergy
If I was only waking up to something
Besides an inferno with nosight of end
I used to jump up smilin',
Leavin' the comfort of cushionswith jubilance
And forth I went, Never dare to look back
And I used to bethe poster child child
And I used to like that
I used to run, bag onback
Run to room to room
To teacher to teacher
To bore to bore
Andonce belonged to me
In as seen now as an empty chest with nomovement
Popularity and acceptance and
"Friends" who so closelyresembled me
But I did not see
In that abyss-sea
What truly existed inme
What I hid in fear of abnormality
And rejection and eyes
Staringstraight at me
Down at me
"What a weirdo, hee hee."
But now Isee
So perfectly
After seeing others who weren't afraid
Who showedthemselves with no shame
Constantly and truthfully and beautifully
In awarm sea of smilin' faces
Of open arms
Drawin' back what the robot worlderases
I used to be of the world by the world
I used to be a robot
Iused to be controlled
I used to buy into the fads
Because everyone wasbuying into the fads
I had to fit neatly
Into a complex puzzle
Until Irealized
With open-wide eyes
I am the puzzle
And I'm having a hardenough time fitting in with myself
So what if I'm not fitting in withmyself
I'll be just fine in pieces still in the box
Or you can pour me outand make random
And leave me like that
Beautiful, untainted,
And likelove so true



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the February 2002 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback