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Secrets and a Song
bare feet hitting ash
acres of sandpaper clouds whirling at my heels
running and running
away from divorce papers,
and custody battles.
From my million one-sided conversations,
the trillion honest words that were never given voice
and the few that somehow were.
From a sister who should love me and doesn't
a mother who loves me and shouldn't
and a father still looking for his daughter in the trees
yet to learn I've long since lost my grip.
My therapist has a thing for invisible name tags
hers says “Licensed Psychologist”
mine reads “Troubled Teen”
I run from that too
She wants me to talk to her
so I tell her half-stories
leaving out the parts that don't make sense
the parts that make me sound crazy
I probably am,
crazy I mean
but I can outrun that too...
Or at least I hope I can.
My cloud gives way to a forest
scorched and hideous where it used to be full.
My dad planted trees in the ash last week
tiny little green things.
I'll be dead before they're grown
so it doesn't matter much.
I'm trying not to look at them now,
they remind me too much of me.
My dad's trying not to look at me
I remind him too much of her.
Letter to the world:
I have a therapist you know.
I hide too much you know.
I don't eat in public,
I don't talk to people,
I don't get angry out loud,
I don't have any self esteem,
I don't want to live like this
SHUT SHUT SHUT
but I can write
so leave me alone.
Sometimes I sing out here;
it's the only time I can.
Sometimes I sing so hard I cry.
My mom used to do that
under those smiling stars
the moon laughing like her tears were the joke of the night
she always messed up the words too
but her voice was just like mine
and my dad can't bear to hear it.
It is common belief that the people we love are subplots to our stories,
but when you love someone you become a subplot to theirs
and you cannot cut the threads.
Believe me I've tried.
She was my mother,
she was my protector,
and at once my abuser
her mind ruined by pain and drugs
and still I loved her.
But I was furious at her,
I was furious at me
so I let myself hate her only when she ate
I wouldn't be in the same room
and it broke her heart.
Eventually my dad decided I'd gone mad.
“You're not leaving this room until you tell me what's wrong with you”
“ I don't know.” I told him
“'I don't know' is not good enough”
I believed him.
Tell me who wouldn't?
None of it makes sense
so I made the choice not to choose
I stopped speaking
I only ate alone
and then... we left her
and I said nothing.
I'll never forgive myself for that.
And the punishments continue.
There's no singing today
I don't mind the quiet
but there's nothing I hate more than silence...
Because some days I feel like it's crushing me
others I think I'll explode.
Most days though, I welcome it willingly
my inevitable companion.
I'm the loudest person I know
but people want me to be happy
and these loud, angry, deep thoughts are far from normal,
and far from happy
and it's so much safer to give people what they want.
At least the forest doesn't mind
it knows what it means to be left behind with scars.
Letter to you:
Here's two things I don't understand:
1. Why you've read all of the most honest things I've ever said in my life
and you're somehow still here
2.Why I'd risk that all over again to tell you everything
more than any honesty before this
but these are no confessions meant to make us stronger
I'm coming to you because I trust you
more than anyone I know
because you're the one who told me I was f***ing perfect
when I felt the least of it
I could give you so many reasons
but perhaps you've realized them by now.
This is the end of my secrets and silence
I think it's time it was broken.
Perfect is playing in the background now,
and I'm hoping it's the last time it will sound the same way.
There's one more punishment
one for everything
slender cuts across my leg
The ash gives way at last to green
a length of sun dappled field
dotted with the elegant blue of the bells
honey yellow buttercups
and a clear, cold stream meandering through it's face
I sigh loudly
this is perfection.
And I can finally raise my voice.
“Made a wrong turn
once or twice....”
I slip off my shoes
and lower unto the bank.
My skirt wrinkles above the knee
scars visible and hideously pink
but they're just scars,
trophies of survival
and they have been for a while.
I've hated myself for so long
but I'm done now,
but that's alright...”
I think the same thing I always think when I'm here
That I wish you were with me
That I want to tell you everything
That I want to promise you I'm going to be ok now
Do you still trust my word?
I'm going to be ok.
“Welcome to my silly life.”