Back Before

Back before:
Before falling
Before heartbreak
Before the chemicals
Before the sleepless nights
Before the danger was real
Before the edges were sharp
Before the shadows were clear
And the hard light reflected off our skin
Back before we needed words
For the love we were willing to give.

It wasn't your sandy, bare feet
But how you tossed your shoes
In a heap of forgotten memories,
Good words, followed rules, and
All the walls and windows that couldn't hold you.

Picking at scabs because you were proud of your scars,
Couldn't let your body seal up those badges,
Collected memories so far, though not nostalgic
Because you'd never known goodbyes in a world so full of green

Lord, I want to be like that,
Could you make me?
Take me back to night and wake me?
Why must I be the sum total of what they make of me?

Before black stripes and red wristbands
Before we found friends and lost them
Before the lines were drawn in sand
Before I realized I was too afraid to cross them.
(These days I step right on cracks
And keep on walking on…)

It wasn't where you went,
But how you loved the way the wind stung
When you moved faster than anything
Gravel-palmed, dry-eyed,
halfway there, breathing through half a lung.
You kept on.
You ran.
We all did, really,
You, stone-fisted and fierce,
And I, weaving through the sidewalk cracks,
Never minding the gentle turns
That led us so far away





Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

josika said...
Jan. 13, 2012 at 8:37 am
hey! amazing piece. it flows really well. keep writing!
 
PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Hey! Thanks a bunch!
 
leafy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 9:16 am
Love this, the flow was great, the meaning was great, the word choice was great. I do have one issue with it though, in the first stanza. I think you should've either taken away the "before" in the first line or taken them out in the other lines. Also, I don't really like the colon placement, but that's just me. Nice job, 4.5/5
 
PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm
I'll consider editing those, thanks!
 
Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Another amazing poem. WOW.

*****

 
PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 8:18 am
Love.Hate.Passion., thank you! You are always such an encouragement. 
 
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