A Child Went Forth This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 26, 2011
There was a child went forth every day,
and she did nothing but
watch, listen, taste, smell, feel, and grow.
The child gathered the vapors of memory
floating in the air and made them whole;
a part of herself.
They made homes in her hair, dangling their
transparent feet over her eyelashes,
swinging them with each blink.

The scent of cigarettes clinging to long blond locks,
her father dancing to rock and roll
at his dingy metal work bench,
the effort to see him through the dusty window
behind the stained navy blue sofa,
pock-marked with baby saliva, or food, or both
became a part of this child.

Others came to live with her- more shallow, less real:
Blue’s Clues and Steve’s dull questionings,
Disney’s unattainable perfection,
blocks and Beanie Babies;
Play Doh, an uncontrollable mess, and
eternally sticky blue table tops;
the sight of tennis shoes spied through the crack in the door
became a part of this child.

Mom busy and frazzled, teasing about the mess the girl made
as the dog licked up the scraps; The dad sitting nearby
disinterested, engulfed in a show about a life he would never have;
the mom’s good-hearted mistakes that amounted to catastrophe,
the father’s whiskers that kept on growing
no matter how much money he lost or
how many times he yelled and shook and damaged-
a constant, unceasing growth on his lip and chin,
became a part of this child.

Bright oranges and yellows and greens,
fat pencils to match the
obese spaces on the recycled lined paper;
Frustration and mean goblins with the faces of
boys and girls; kind teachers with
unfortunate goblin faces, Fruit Loop necklaces
dangling awkwardly off skinny necks,
spelling worksheets and tally marks
became a part of this child.

The next years’ stock moved in and then out,
deciding to leave her to other misty memories.
These years came and went, pointedly
leaving the child empty, waiting for
something… She did not want them.
They curiously did not become a part of this child.

Homework, no sleep, constant headaches; Loss and
depressed moods, self-hate, insecurity and faithlessness
held the child to the ground.
A bald Head, the pulsing of a Black Box, sweaty palms,
a true and loyal friend; tears, fears, realizations,
too much prayer, not enough prayer and God-
God’s sweet hands lifting her up;
Things of a Universal Nature, Hamlet, and more
grabbed the passions of the child.
Living, Breathing, moving as someone else in a different world;
direction and Directing;
Hydrophobia and the Year of Water
applause and adrenaline
holding on and letting go
traditions and meaningful embraces
grew into the mists,
became a part of this child.

Ticking seconds falling swiftly down her cheeks,
moons waning and waxing, breaths
welcomed in and then rushing out,
pens, chap stick, a sock and a slippery memory
lost to the Land of Regrets;
forgiveness, acceptance, jealousy, loneliness, a taste
of coffee, APU, those old hallucinations and voids,
the new insomnia, stress, weakness, and a tiny smile in a dream
became a part of this child.

These became part of that child who went forth every day,
and who now goes,
and will always go forth
every day.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

EESGIRL said...
Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm
i like your work we have a little bit in common
AbigailGilgal said...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 11:25 am
Totally loved it! You have such a great gift, keep using it! Five stars for this one, baby.
TamzieW. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm
'They made homes in her hair, dangling them over her eyelashes, swinging them with every blink'- that is a very sweet line. The poem is nice
Scribbler-of-Dreams This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 7:51 am
WOw...it's so beautiful.
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